There has been no centralized guideline for ESG criteria that everybody accepts and can adopt. Therefore, a clear definition and framework are necessary, it was argued at the Green Future Conference 20022, organized by the Hungarian Green Building Council (HuGBC).
“This is not like LEED or BREEAM, which are already set frameworks. Everybody knows that the value of the stamp from LEED and BREEAM is the same in London or Budapest,” explains Zsombor Barta, president of the HuGBC. “Because there was no centralized framework for the meaning of ESG and sustainable economic activities, the EU has attempted to define the meaning of sustainable economic activity with EU Taxonomy regulations and a specialized framework for each economic sector. Essentially, how to measure sustainability,” he says. “Indeed, this is different from classical ESG benchmarking or ratings because the EU has ambitious targets related to climate change, CO2 emissions and the Paris Agreement. The EU considered that if it is putting a framework for sustainable economic activity together, then, of course, it should also serve at the same time the ambitious targets related to climate change and CO2 emissions. This was how EU Taxonomy was born in May 2021,” the president argues. “The National Bank of Hungary asked us to cooperate with them to elaborate the adaptation of the EU Taxonomy regulation with regard to new buildings, renovations, and existing buildings in Hungary. The result is that this collaboration adapted EU Taxonomy to the Hungarian market; EU Taxonomy requirements are hard to fulfill as they are very ambitious frameworks and targets,” Barta adds.