Green Building Provides The Foundation for ESG Reporting in the Property Sector

Chris Pyke
Published on
Monday, July 11, 2022

Green building is more than bricks, mortar, concrete, and steel. It is:

  • A theory of change about how to transform markets.
  • A community of professionals sharing a vision and a technical vocabulary.
  • A set of tools to define leadership and foster competitive differentiation.
  • A process to provide independent review and affirmation of practices and performance.

These elements combine to encourage the design, construction, and operation of better spaces, buildings, and places. Today, these qualities make green building an essential foundation for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting in the property sector.

The ESG community faces a growing crisis of confidence – one that is intimately connected to its increasing importance to the allocation of capital in financial markets. Critics have called out instances of greenwashing, and there is a growing recognition that the designation “ESG” may not necessarily support critical social or environmental outcomes.

This is where green building can buttress ESG. Green building is rooted in a positive vision for the characteristics that define better property: energy efficiency, clean energy, water conservation, waste reduction, occupant health, resilience, and more. These are the goals around which we design rating systems, train professionals, and provide certification. Nothing is perfect or static in this world, but green building is a sincere, mission-oriented platform that points in the right direction toward solutions to pressing social and environmental problems.

This means that green building can provide a credible, defensible foundation for ESG reporting. Green building certification shows that a company is taking specific actions and, increasingly, demonstrating real world performance outcomes. These are not opinions or self-claims. Rather, they are aligned with the values and beliefs of established, publicly available criteria.

Learn more about how green building supports ESG reporting in this new USGBC whitepaper. Then go deeper into specific connections between LEED, Arc, and GRESB in our article.