The Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme is a labelling scheme for Entities, Assets and Debt Instruments. Rigorous scientific criteria ensure that Certified investments in climate mitigation are consistent with the 1.5owarming limit in the Paris Agreement. The Scheme is used globally by bond issuers, governments, investors and the financial markets to prioritise investments which genuinely contribute to addressing climate change.

Commercial Buildings Criteria Overview


Discover your local city baseline and performance target

There are three options for certifying a Commercial Building under the Low Carbon Building Criteria. Which option the issuer can take depends on the location of the buildings, and the related data which is available.

The underlying concept of the Criteria is the low carbon trajectory. We have calculated trajectories for each city and established by taking a baseline representing the top 15% in terms of carbon intensity (kg CO2/m sq) and drawing a linear line down to zero carbon in 2050. This rate of decarbonisation is in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement and a 2°C warming scenario.​




Path 1 - Low Carbon Trajectory

Where a low carbon trajectory has been or can be established, and the bond issuer must demonstrate alignment with this trajectory over the term of the bond.

If an issuer's asset or portfolio of assets is aligned with this trajectory, the bond can achieve Climate Bonds Certification.

If an issuer's portfolio does not align with the trajectory, the issuer can still qualify for Climate Bonds Certification as long as the performance of the portfolio is improved such that overall performance over the bond term is equivalent to a portfolio that satisfies the targets.

For more information on whether your city has the required low carbon trajectory, see the Country Criteria for Commercial Buildings. ​


Path 2 - Proxy

Many cities may not have the appropriate buildings data which is required to establish the low carbon trajectory. For these cities, the Low Carbon Buildings Criteria offers an interim solution for Certification, by using an approved proxy.

For more information on whether your city has an approved proxy, see the Country Criteria for Commercial Buildings.


Path 3 - Significant Upgrade

As bonds are issued for a range of financing and refinancing, the Low Carbon Buildings Criteria also cover buildings assets which achieve significant upgrades to their emissions intensity performance. This can cover all forms of decarbonisation efforts, including investments in energy efficiency and fuel switching (for example, grid to distributed solar or furnace to electric heat pump).

If an issuer can demonstrate that the asset or portfolio of assets demonstrates this significant upgrade, it can achieve Climate Bonds Certification.

For more information on the upgrade path, see the Upgrade Criteria.



Interested in Climate Bonds Certification?

1. Read more about the Climate Bonds Standard
2. Email for more information