Low Carbon Buildings

What are the Building Criteria 

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

Background Paper
Low Carbon Buildings Criteria

Baselining Methodology
Extrapolation Methodology
Proxy Methodology
Upgrade Methodology
Country Guidance Brochures

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


Feb 2018: National RMBS Trust, Australia
Nov 2017: Barclays, UK
Dec 2017: LBBW, Germany

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

  • Commercial buildings: are buildings used for commercial purposes and include office space, retail space, warehouse, etc. Each commercial subcategory has a unique emissions performance profile. 
  • Residential buildings: are buildings used for housing and includes single family, multi-family, and mixed use where more than 50% of the asset is zoned residential. Like the commercial, subcategories of residential have unique emissions performance profiles. 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 EU) are leveraged as pre-approved emission performance proxies (using the proxy methodology). 
  • Upgrade projects: Non-building assets such as street lighting improvements can meet the performance criteria if they achieve an emission reduction of 30%-50% (depending on bond term) from a baseline will qualify for certification. 
Any questions on the low carbon buildings standard?   Please contact Cory Nestor Cory.Nestor@climatebonds.net

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

The criteria were 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.

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.