Adding up the sustainability transparency equation

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JLL’s 2016 Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Transparency Index analyses sustainability transparency in real estate for 37 markets across the globe. The index identifies those markets that are leading the charge for sustainability, as well as those markets that are lagging behind, based on analysis of seven environmental sustainability indicators.

The 2016 Sustainability Transparency Index reveals slow – yet steady – progress as sustainability considerations grow in importance across the globe. The Index, which measures transparency based on a 5-point scale (with country scores towards 1 qualified as “highly transparent” and scores towards 5 as “opaque”) for seven different indicators, shows steady improvement over recent years.



But the obvious question remains – what environmental sustainability factors indicate whether a market is opaque or transparent?

Sustainability transparencyThere are seven key indicators that suggest the level of sustainability transparency within a given market, reflected in this infographic, including:


  1. Financial performance indices for green buildings
  2. Green building rating and certification systems
  3. Carbon reporting frameworks
  4. Energy consumption benchmarking systems
  5. Energy efficiency requirements for new buildings
  6. Energy efficiency requirements for existing buildings
  7. Green lease clauses

Of these seven indicators, the 2016 Index found that energy efficiency standards and green building certification schemes continue to be the most widespread environmental transparency instruments. In fact, minimum energy efficiency standards for the design of new buildings are mandatory in 87% of all countries – which is an encouraging sign that sustainability considerations continue to gain traction across the globe.

Market-specific green building certification systems also represent a cornerstone of sustainability transparency, as building ratings are made publicly available in more than 65% of all countries. This is even more encouraging from a global perspective, as there are green building rating systems like LEED or BREEAM that are available in the majority of global real estate markets.

Experts see these signs as encouraging evidence that sustainability considerations are continuing to take hold in markets across the globe. To learn more about transparency in real estate, check out JLL’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index.

For more sustainability thought leadership from JLL, follow JLL Sustainability on LinkedIn

Franz Jenowein is Director of Sustainability Research at JLL. In this role, Franz writes about sustainable buildings, energy efficiency, climate change and related issues as they impact the real estate sector. 

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