Low Carbon Buildings

The greenhouse gas impacts of cities are enormous and 70% of a typical large city has impact locked up in buildings. To stand any credible chance of greenhouse gas abatement, buildings offers one of the biggest opportunities. In the long run, green property bonds are expected to make up to 40% of the green bonds market but this will depend on confidence among investors that the buildings are making a genuine contribution to the transition to a green economy. 

Commercial buildings
Residential buildings
Low Carbon Buildings Criteria
Commercial Buildings CO2 Target Calculator

Baselining Methodology
Extrapolation Methodology
Proxy Methodology
Upgrade Methodology
Approved proxies for certification

Jan 2017: Latest TWG meeting 
Sep 2014: Public consultation closed
Jun 2014: Released for public consultation

Jul 2016: Treasury Corporation of Victoria
Jun 2016: Obvion
May 2016: ABN AMRO

The Low Carbon Buildings criteria sets out what property assets are eligible for certification under the Climate Bonds Standard and covers three different types of property assets: 

  • Commercial buildings: Buildings must meet one of the approved certification pathways layed out in the Low-Carbon Criteria. These include either, alignment with a city level low-carbon trajectory using the baselining methodology, achieving a significant emissions improvement of 30-50%, or qualifying under a pre-approved proxy (using the proxy methodology).
  • Residential buildings: While residnetial assets can use the same pathway as commercial assets, emissions data does not always exist. Existing instruments such as local building codes, energy rating schemes (e.g. US Energy Star) and energy labeling schemes (e.g. Energy Performance Certificates in the UK) are leveraged as emission performance proxies using the proxy methodology. 
  • Upgrade projects: Non-building assets such as street lighting improvements can meet the perofrmancecriteria if they achieve an emission reductions of 30% to 50% (depending on bond term) from a baseline will qualify for certification. 

Further details are provided in the guidance on Low Carbon Buildings Criteria.

The criteria was developed by the Low Carbon Buildings Technical Working Group, which was initially made up of 17 international experts including representatives of the Buildings Performance Institute Europe, the Investor Group on Climate Change and Hermes Real Estate, to mention a few.

Any questions on the low carbon buildings standard?   Please contact Cory Nestor Cory.Nestor@climatebonds.net

The first green bond certified under the Low Carbon Buildings criteria was issued by the ANZ Bank in May 2015, with proceeds of A$600m allocated to green buildings, wind energy and solar energy loans in Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia.



Interested in Climate Bonds Certification?
1. Read more about the Climate Bonds Standard
2. Email certification@climatebonds.net for more information






Investor Confidence Project
(Environmental Defense Fund)

Panama Bartholomy


Hermes Real Estate
Tatiana Bosteels
Head of Responsible Investment

Better Buildings Partnership
Chris Botten
Programme Manager

Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Simon Brooker
Executive Director

Investor Confidence Project
(Environmental Defense Fund)

Luís Castanheira
Technical Director

Green Building Council Australia
Jorge Chapa
Head of Market Transformation

Robert Cohen
Technical Director

UNEP Finance Initiative
Annie Degen-Neuville
​Special Advisor Long Term Finance and
Energy Efficiency Coordinator

International Energy Agency
John Dulac
Buildings Sector Lead -
Energy Technology & Policy

European Bank for Reconstruction 
and Development

Alexander Hadzhiivanov
Associate Director,
Sustainable Resource Investments


International Finance Corporation
Prashant Kapoor
Principal Industry Specialist

Johannes Kreissig
Vice President Building & Construction

Observatoire de l'Immobilier Durable
LoÏs Moulas

Buildings Performance Institute Europe
Oliver Rapf
Executive Director

EEVS Insight
Alex Rathmell

Climate Strategy & Partners
Peter Sweatman
Chief Executive

Teun van den Dries
Founder & CEO

Flux Consultants
Ché Wall

TWG Lead Specialist 

BRE Group
Alan Yates
Technical Director, Sustainability

European Commission
(Joint Research Centre)

Paolo Zancanella


Biographies of current members of the Technical Working Group are available here.