ULI Greenprint Goals
The ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance includes a worldwide alliance of leading real estate owners, investors, and strategic partners committed to improving the environmental performance of the global real estate industry. Through measurement, benchmarking, knowledge sharing, and implementation of best practices, Greenprint and its members strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and to achieve net zero carbon operations by 2050.
Want to learn more about the pathway to zero and access a comprehensive list of ULI’s net zero resources? Visit the Net Zero Compendium.
Meaningful Progress by 2030
In 2009, Greenprint members set a collective goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions meaningfully by 2030. Greenprint members have found that reducing carbon and driving energy efficiency in their real estate portfolios makes good business sense.
Net Zero by 2050 Goal
The ULI Greenprint goal is to reduce the carbon emissions of its members’ collective buildings under operational control to net zero by the year 2050. This net zero carbon operations goal is designed to meaningfully reduce the built environment’s impact on climate change beyond existing efforts.
The goal is in line with the Paris Agreement and findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report to limit global warming to 1.5⁰ C.
Greenprint Members Aligned with the Net Zero Goal
In October 2020 during ULI’s Virtual Fall Meeting, the first ULI Greenprint members committed to align with the Net Zero Goal. Now, 34 ULI Greenprint real estate members have aligned to the net zero carbon operations goal representing more than $1.1 trillion in AUM, nearly 2.9 billion square feet, and nearly 12,500 buildings across more than 20 countries.
Interested in Aligning with the Greenprint Goals?
The next opportunity for Greenprint real estate members to align with the Net Zero Goal is during 2022 ULI Fall Meeting. Real estate firms can align their portfolio with the ULI Greenprint net zero goal’s 5th wave of commitments via email with written confirmation by April 30, 2023. We will include a press release, a website update, social media posts, and an UrbanLand online article with the news.
This goal sets a minimum, and real estate firms are welcome to set more aggressive targets and timelines as part of their alignment; we welcome firms to support the ULI Greenprint Net Zero Goal in addition to alignment with other organizations’ net zero goals as well. Firms must include their whole portfolio, not just include select funds or regions. Companies must be ULI Greenprint real estate members to be eligible to align with the goal.
Defining Net Zero for Real Estate
For the real estate sector, “net zero” brings challenges when owners only have so much control over their properties’ energy usage and carbon emissions. Greenprint follows the World Green Building Council definition of net zero, which is a building portfolio that is highly efficient and fully powered by on-site and off-site renewable energy sources.
The baseline net zero goal is based on CDP scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions, and direct operational control excluding occupant operations. Members can choose to go beyond scope 1 and 2 to include occupant operations. Guidance on how to define operational control and boundaries for an emissions inventory can be found in the WRI/WBCSD greenhouse gas protocol (“The GHG protocol”).
ULI Greenprint will measure members’ progress toward these goals by tracking their collective improvements in energy efficiency, purchase of green utility power, and increased investment in on- and off-site renewable energy and offsets. Collective progress will be published in the ULI Greenprint Performance Report each year to publicly showcase advancements towards both goals. Greenprint encourages members to share their pathway to net zero carbon, as well as their own interim targets.
Roadmap to Portfolio-Wide Net Zero
Over time, Greenprint will help members navigate key steps on their journey to net zero by providing guidance, tools, and training to help members make progress towards these goals. The roadmap starts with energy efficiency as the most cost-effective solution for carbon reductions, moving on to onsite renewables, green power through the utility grid coupled with building electrification, and balancing the remaining emissions with offsite renewables, renewable energy credits (RECs), and offsets. Further strategies can include engaging tenants to reduce their emissions and exploring embodied carbon reductions in building materials.
Leadership Statements on Aligning with the Net Zero Goal
ACRE: “Approximately 40 percent of global carbon emissions emanate from residential and commercial buildings. Our pledge to be net-zero carbon by 2050 formalizes ACRE’s commitment to mitigating the real estate industry’s role in climate change and other environmental issues. We have always believed that value creation for our business extends beyond what we generate for our investors and into the role we play in our host communities and the broader built world. This pledge serves as a testament to those core values, and we are proud to stand beside our fellow ULI Greenprint members as we work to create a better, more sustainable future.” Linda Isaacson, Partner and Head of ESG & Impact at ACRE
Allianz Real Estate: “As one of the world’s largest investors in real estate, Allianz Real Estate is committed to leading by example in the fight against climate change through the decarbonization of the sector. The highest priority for us as a responsible business is to reduce the footprint of our global portfolio and provide a transparent, measurable impact in the fight against global warming. As such, we wholly support ULI Greenprint’s Net-Zero Carbon by 2050 announcement for a low-carbon future. To meet our goals, we have developed one of the most ambitious and comprehensive sustainability and ESG transformation programmes in the real estate sector. We are utilizing independent CRREM data and benchmarking across our global portfolio – for both new assets and as we refurbish our existing portfolio. Under CRREM, investments are reported against a 1.5°C GHG target while decarbonization emission pathways are defined. Our program also looks at each building not just from an energy efficiency angle but criteria such as tenant well-being and tenant engagement. These are fundamental to long-term success.” Dr. Raphael Mertens, Chief Risk Officer at Allianz Real Estate
Boston Properties: “We’re pleased to join this effort and have set our own ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutral operations by 2025. The important role of real estate companies in addressing the climate crisis and the opportunities for BXP to provide leadership have never been more evident.” Owen Thomas, CEO, Boston Properties and ULI Global Chairman
Bridge Industrial: “Bridge recognizes the vital role that commercial real estate must play if the world is to keep climate change within 1.5°C of pre-industrial levels and, as a leader in the industry, we are embracing the challenge. By embedding ULI Greenprint’s net-zero target into our corporate strategy, we are making decarbonization a business priority that supports not only our company’s ESG goals but also our larger responsibility to the well-being of our stakeholders and our communities.” Francesca DeAmicis, Vice President of Operations and Sustainability, Bridge Industrial
Brookfield Properties: “Brookfield Properties is deeply committed to minimizing the environmental impact of our properties, improving our efficient use of resources over time, and pursuing an ambitious path to net zero carbon operations. We are proud to join ULI Greenprint’s Net-Zero by 2050 goal as we, together with other leaders in our industry, take meaningful steps to build a sustainable future.” Bill Powell, Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Brookfield’s Real Estate Group
City Developments Limited: “As a sustainability pioneer and green building champion, CDL has remained steadfast in mitigating climate risks and reducing our carbon emissions. Complementing our firm commitment to green buildings, we started using solar energy at selected residential and commercial developments since the early 2000s and became the first Singapore developer to carbon neutralise our headquarter operations since 2009.
CDL’s climate and low-carbon strategies and programmes have been designed to support the global race to net zero and contribute to Singapore’s goal to achieve net zero emissions ‘as soon as viable’ in the second half of the century. In 2018, CDL became the first Singapore real estate company to successfully set carbon reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). In September 2019, CDL furthered its commitment to the global climate action by joining the pioneer batch of 87 companies worldwide to pledge support to UNGC’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign.
As the world navigates the new normal, sustainability, energy efficiency and the reduction of our carbon footprint will remain our top priorities in the way we design, build and manage our assets and engage a larger ecosystem of stakeholders. Committed to embracing innovative technologies and solutions that reduce environmental impact, CDL is proud to support ULI Greenprint’s Net-Zero Carbon by 2050 announcement for a low-carbon future.” Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Limited
Clarion Partners: “Sustainability is a priority to our clients and our firm, and Clarion Partners has long held that sustainable investing improves our properties and performance. We are proud to commit to the net zero carbon initiative, and look forward to partnering with the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance to use this framework to help future-proof our assets and protect our planet for generations to come.” CEO & CIO, David Gilbert, Clarion Partners
CommonWealth Partners: “CommonWealth Partners is proud to have achieved our goal to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% three years ahead of schedule. We have set our Science-Based Target goals to 50% reduction of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2030. To further our emissions reduction commitment, we have set a new, ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by 2050.” Travis Addison, Principal, CommonWealth Partners
CP Group: “CP Group commits to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our 15 million SF portfolio. We support ULI Greenprint’s net zero carbon goals and are committed to achieving a carbon neutral world.” Elena Villarreal Daniel, Director of ESG at CP Group.
The Green Cities Company: “Since its inception, The Green Cities Company has been dedicated to driving sustainability and wellbeing throughout our properties and on behalf of our tenants and investors. Decarbonization is not only in our investment strategy, but in our entire ethos as an organization. We are proud to stand with the ULI Greenprint community in making a commitment to Net Zero by 2050 – and beyond.” Lauren Winkler, Senior Director of ESG at The Green Cities Company
Hang Lung Properties: “Hang Lung Properties is proud to be the first real estate company in Hong Kong and among the first real estate companies in Asia to join ULI Greenprint’s global initiative in support of a low carbon future. Climate resilience is our sustainability priority. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint in line with climate science, and have set ambitious and concrete 2025 and 2030 carbon reduction targets. In January this year, we took a step further by committing to set both near-term and long-term targets to reach net-zero value chain greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050. We look forward to exchanging best practices on this journey with other Greenprint members, and call on all real estate companies to step up to the challenge and create a net-zero carbon world together.” Adriel Chan, Vice Chair & Chair of Sustainability Steering Committee, Hang Lung Properties
Heitman: “Achieving net zero carbon operations by 2030 is an important undertaking and will complement our asset- and market-level climate risk assessment of investments.” Laura Craft, Head of Global ESG Strategy, Heitman
Hudson Pacific Properties: “Hudson Pacific is committed to leadership in sustainability and we are proud to have achieved carbon neutrality across all operations earlier this year. We applaud ULI Greenprint and our peers who have joined the pledge to reach net zero carbon by 2050. We know that the real estate industry as a whole must come together to have a meaningful impact on climate change and this pledge represents an important step forward.” Natalie Teear, VP Sustainability and Social Impact, Hudson Pacific Properties
Jamestown L.P.: “Through Jamestown Green and the Jamestown Charitable Foundation, we focus on efforts that reduce our impact on the environment, and support the larger communities where we operate. After achieving our goal to reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent, we’re now aiming higher and committing to achieve net zero operational carbon by 2050.” Matt Bronfman, Chief Executive Officer, Jamestown L.P.
Kilroy Realty Corporation: “We applaud ULI Greenprint for creating a Net Zero Carbon operations goal for the building community, which gives us additional momentum as we work towards achieving our own Net Zero Carbon operations goal at the end of 2020.” Sara Neff, SVP Sustainability, Kilroy Realty Corporation
LaSalle Investment Management: “At LaSalle we’re committed to doing right by our investors, our people and our planet. When we invest in environmental, social and governance best practices, we are enhancing the performance of our clients’ investments. That is why we are excited to work with the ULI Greenprint team on net zero carbon ambitions and commit to this industry goal.” Jeff Jacobson, Global CEO, LaSalle Investment Management
Lendlease: “As a 1.5 degree-aligned company, Lendlease has committed to achieving Net Zero for Scopes 1 and 2 by 2025, and Absolute Zero across Scopes 1, 2, and 3 by 2040. We are proud to align with ULI Greenprint’s Net Zero Carbon Operations Goal, which provides critical leadership and guidance for real estate companies in reducing carbon emissions across our industry.” Sara Neff, Head of Sustainability, Lendlease Americas
Morgan Creek Ventures: “We have seen the future… and it is here today. All electric, Net Zero Energy (NZE) buildings. They are the best long term investment in real estate. The most resilient and the lowest long term risk as it relates to climate change. As an institutional investor, what would you prefer to own ten or twenty years from now? An all-electric building or a fossil fuel powered building? You should be building your portfolio today based on that observation. Our returns today are equal to our fossil fuel based competitors. Imagine how much better our returns will be a decade from now.” Andy Bush, Founding Partner, Morgan Creek Ventures
NEO Property Management Incorporated: “The severity of our current climate crisis requires a commensurate response and commitment from real estate owners, developers, and managers: NET ZERO. This is a difficult and ambitious commitment for NEO, as we are a real estate company based in an emerging market. However, we firmly believe that we can and must play our part in this global collective effort. We encourage all other real estate firms to heed the call and join us in this fight.” Raymond Rufino, Chief Executive Officer, NEO Property Management Incorporated
Nuveen Real Estate: “Nuveen Real Estate is proud to commit to delivering net zero carbon buildings. This is a necessary step for the industry in order to tackle the climate crisis and it builds on our existing commitment to a 30% reduction in energy intensity by 2030 across our portfolio. This will deliver outperformance for our clients as net zero carbon buildings will be protected from obsolescence and will remain relevant in tomorrow’s world. We call on our peers and the wider real estate industry to also step up to this challenge.” Chris McGibbon, Global Head of Real Estate and Head of the Americas, Nuveen Real Estate
PGIM Real Estate: “We are proud to align with ULI Greenprint’s Net Zero Carbon goal to reduce operational carbon emissions of our global portfolio o of managed properties to net zero by 2050. With the future in mind, and through our expanded ESG program, we’ve accelerated efforts to significantly mitigate our impact on the environment by creating a multi-year plan for our assets, which includes deep energy retrofits, on- and off-site renewable energy, green utility power, and climate risk assessments. We’re committed to being a part of the solution by helping the world address our biggest climate challenges.” Eric Adler, President & Chief Executive Officer of PGIM Real Estate
Prologis: “Prologis has always been ambitious in our sustainability efforts, and our net zero goal is no exception. We’re proud of the support we’re providing our customers in achieving their sustainability goals. Prologis continues to be an industry leader in finding innovative ways to decarbonize our operations.” Hamid R. Moghadam, Co-founder, CEO and Chairman, Prologis.
Rudin Management Company: “We are proud to join ULI Greenprint and commit to net zero carbon emissions across our portfolio by 2050. Sustainability has always been a core principle at Rudin and we are committed to do our part in mitigating climate change for a better world and future generations.” Michael Rudin, Senior Vice President, Rudin Management Company
Savanna: “Savanna is pleased to align with ULI Greenprint’s net-zero carbon goal. Reducing emissions is something we are committed to working on, and as we do our small part to drive energy efficiency within our own portfolio, we are encouraged by ULI Greenprint’s efforts to push the broader industry to make a positive impact in this area.” Peter Rosenthal, Principal, Director of Development, Savanna
Shorenstein: “Shorenstein is committed to playing an active role in ULI Greenprint’s Net Zero Alignment, contributing to the collective efforts required to limiting climate change in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement and supporting the global transition to net zero emissions by 2050. Prioritizing energy efficiency, grid interactivity, and renewables, we are continually striving to decarbonize our portfolio, while positioning the assets for climate resiliency.” Mei Tsuruta, Sustainability Program Manager, Shorenstein
SL Green Realty Corp: “SL Green recognizes the importance of playing a role in the global transition to a low carbon economy. We are proud to commit to ULI Greenprint Net Zero goal.” Laura Vulaj, Senior Vice President and Director of Sustainability, SL Green Realty
The Tower Companies: “Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time – and inaction is simply no longer an option. Real estate organizations can serve as a catalyst for real change, benefitting the planet and business, and we are pleased to join other leaders to fight the global climate crisis together. Aligning with ULI Greenprint and The Paris Agreement supports our long-time commitment to carbon neutrality and pushes us to go further.” Jeffrey Abramson, Partner at The Tower Companies
Tishman Speyer: “Tishman Speyer has long been a leader in the use of innovative energy management technology, and we’re continuing that legacy with our pledge to achieve operational net zero carbon by 2050 or sooner,” said Jonathan Flaherty, Global Head of Sustainability and Building Technology Innovation at Tishman Speyer. “We are dedicated to the health and well-being of our customers and neighborhoods. We design, construct and operate properties across our global portfolio with this imperative in mind.”
Unico Properties: “Sustainable real estate, built for the long-term, is smart business. Unico has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, and we are proud to align with ULI Greenprint’s net zero goal. We understand the role our buildings and business can have in mitigating climate change and are working to make an impact by decarbonizing our real estate and scaling the supply of renewable energy in the built environment. It is an honor to join our peers in this collective effort to reduce carbon emissions from the built environment.” Anita Jeerage, Director of Sustainable Real Estate, Unico Properties.
WashREIT: “We are proud to join ULI Greenprint’s Net Zero Carbon Operations goal. Following our transformation into a multifamily REIT, ESG remains a core focus. As we continue our planned geographic expansion, carbon neutrality has become an integral factor in the due diligence process as we source acquisition opportunities. This is an important next step we are taking as we develop an even more impactful ESG program and take measures to reduce our environmental footprint as a multifamily company.” Paul McDermott, President and CEO, WashREIT
Additional Nuances important to clarify for the real estate sector:
Operational Boundaries: Based on GHG reporting frameworks, Greenprint members at minimum include all energy consumption and fuel use under their operational control. Where tenants/residents are in control of their own meter, those scope 3 emissions do not fall under the Greenprint net zero goal. Greenprint members can choose to define and report out on their own goals beyond scope 1 and 2 emissions under operational control.
Acquisitions and Dispositions: New buildings have 24 months before they are included in the portfolio’s net zero commitment. Sold buildings are part of a Greenprint members’ net zero goal through the sale date.
Achieving an absolute net zero goal with a growing real estate portfolio: While Greenprint’s efficiency goal is an intensity goal (50% reduction from a 2009 baseline), the new net zero goal by definition is an absolute goal (net zero). No matter the changes in portfolio size over time, Greenprint members are expected to bring their portfolio to net zero by 2050.
Greening of the Utility Grid: Utility-provided power may transition to 100% carbon free by 2050, especially in progressive cities. This is expedited by encouraging energy efficiency in buildings to align with industry-standard energy intensities.