With the perceived growing need for third-party accountability, commercial property sustainability accreditation systems are already being designed for various project types, and not only the “classical” office, retail and industrial sectors.
“They are already positive examples about masterplan level certifications [BREEAM Communities standard] for larger scaled urban development projects – for example, Liget Budapest, or Agora Budapest – where not just the building level sustainability accreditation is within the focus, but the whole project’s sustainable integration into an existing urban network is analyzed, and a wide range of stakeholders are consulted as well,” explains Zsombor Barta, president of the Hungarian Green Building Council (HuGBC). “But beyond that, we also see that the new EU taxonomy regulation, which sets new sector-specific standards regarding sustainable market operations, is also being heavily considered by different stakeholders, including the classical green building rating schemes, which also adopts the EU Taxonomy-related requirements within their own scheme. EU Taxonomy, ESG benchmarking, or BREEAM / LEED ratings are all standards focusing on the real estate sector in general and are setting holistic sustainability frameworks, which are not sector-specific,” he adds. The HuGBC president says the EU taxonomy focuses on an ambitious pathway towards a net-zero EU by 2050. To achieve this ambitious goal, the real estate sector needs to switch to more energy-efficient and therefore more sustainable buildings, Barta argues. This energy efficiency focus is currently also being introduced to the updated BREEAM certification framework to harmonize with the new EU taxonomy regulation.