ESG: Green Building Certification as a Value Driver?

This empirical assessment as well as scenario analysis takes a close look at the ESG certificate effect on the value of office buildings.

March 30, 2021

Few other topics provoke more discussion in the real estate sector than the sustainable construction and operation of buildings. Buildings are significant contributors to CO² emissions and energy consumers, and thus carry huge responsibility for the achievement of the Paris Agreement’s objectives for the limitation of global warming to 1.5°C in comparison to the preindustrial period. Despite the many discussions in the industry, there is a lack of transparency when it comes to the definition of a sustainable building:

  • Which standards describe a sustainable building?
  • What expectations do investors have when it comes to sustainable buildings?
  • How do sustainability certifications (also referred to as green building certifications) affect rents and values?

These are just a few of the questions we intend to investigate and analyse in this study on the issue of ESG (environmental, social and (corporate) governance). We will try to find answers to these questions with the help of an analysis of office buildings in Germany’s Big 7 markets: Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, and Stuttgart. Can the impression that rents and market values are on the increase be proven from the statistics, facts & figures? We hope to provide some clarity and a greater degree of transparency with the help of our comprehensive database combined with our sound valuation expertise.

We will also present an overview of the prevalent building certification systems and look at the effects of the certifications on rental levels. Finally, we will present our findings by way of a scenario analysis in order to quantify the hypothetical effects on values.

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