Climate Bonds Initiative Launches New Buildings Criteria 2.1: Expanding the scope to Embodied Emissions and in line with the EU Taxonomy

Elevating Transition Goals: Climate Bonds Sets New Bar with Buildings Criteria 2.1

The Climate Bonds Initiative announces the launch of Buildings Criteria 2.1 under the Climate Bonds Standard, now open for Certification. This significant update broadens the scope to encompass new buildings, in line with the EU Taxonomy. This development is crucial in propelling investments towards low-carbon building projects, integral to global decarbonisation efforts.


Key Features of the Buildings Criteria 2.1

Commercial and Residential Buildings: This category spans diverse buildings, including offices, retail spaces, hospitals, hotels, universities, and single and multi-family housing. The Criteria leverage existing local building codes and energy rating schemes, such as the US Energy Star and EU Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), as benchmarks for emissions performance.

Upgrade Projects: Eligibility for certification extends to projects across commercial, residential, and other building types that achieve a 30%-50% emission reduction from a defined baseline.

Emphasis on Whole-Life Carbon: Moving beyond traditional energy efficiency, the Criteria focus on 'Whole Life Carbon', incorporating embodied emissions in building assets. This approach is not only in line with the EU Taxonomy but also ensures a holistic assessment of a building's climate impact.

Holistic Emissions Measurement: The Criteria prioritise emissions intensity per square meter/foot as the key metric, covering Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions as per the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. This comprehensive approach transcends energy performance, offering a nuanced view of a building's sustainability.

Developed Collaboratively: Formulated through the collective expertise of Technical and Industry Working Groups, the Criteria reflect insights from academia, civil society, multilateral banks, and industry professionals. Public consultation further enriches these standards, aligning them with market demands and best practices.


Key Documents


The Last Word

Initiated in 2012, the Climate Bonds Low-carbon Buildings criteria focused on reducing operating emissions in existing buildings. The introduction of Buildings Criteria 2.1 marks a significant expansion in the realm of green investments in the building sector. It establishes a new benchmark for certifying low-carbon, sustainable buildings. 

These Criteria provide a tangible, actionable framework for investors and issuers to play a pivotal role in the sustainable transition of the built environment. The Climate Bonds Initiative continues its expansion standards for green investments, driving the global shift towards a low-carbon economy.

Watch the webinar launch from earlier today here and if you are keen to get certified for low carbon buildings please follow this link.


Til Next Time,

Climate Bonds.