Your lawyers since 1722

Sustainable Finance is a crucial tool to reorient capital flows and investment towards achieving global goals. Green Building Councils have been at the forefront of sustainable finance for many years, for example through the green building certifications that many GBCs operate, which have become a de-facto gold standard for many sustainable investments. At WorldGBC we are amplifying and building on this great work. Sustainable finance is a cross-cutting theme that touches on all our work programmes and projects, but we also have a number of focussed work areas on this topic.

Our work

WorldGBC is working with Green Building Councils (GBCs) and other organisations to ensure that sustainable finance efforts support the total decarbonisation of the built environment. We are working to ensure that tools and green taxonomies on the market and under development can help unlock the power of the financial sector to help make sustainable buildings available for everyone everywhere.

EU Taxonomy

WorldGBC is one of 50 members appointed to be part of the EU’s Platform on Sustainable Finance. This group makes recommendations to the Commission on how to define and implement the EU Taxonomy. The Taxonomy is a common set of criteria for sustainable economic activities. 

Taxonomies are now under development in other regions and countries. They can play an important role in scaling up sustainable finance and, in turn, in supporting the achievement of high-level goals such as the Paris Agreement and the UN sustainable development goals. Through our leading role in the EU Taxonomy, WorldGBC aims to support national GBCs to engage in and help lead the development of internationally aligned built environment criteria for sustainable investing.

A visual representation of the contents of the EU Taxonomy can now be found at the EU Taxonomy Compass

Green mortgages

More and more homebuyers across the EU can now access better borrowing rates on mortgages in return for purchasing more energy efficient homes or committing to implement energy saving work within properties. This is thanks, in large part, to ground-breaking work, co-led by WorldGBC, to define a European energy efficient mortgage product.  

The Energy Efficiency Mortgage Initiative was launched in 2017 by a consortium led by the European Mortgage FederationEuropean Covered Bond Council (EMF-ECBC). In June 2018, the project launched a new energy efficiency mortgage pilot scheme, backed by a growing group of banks, including some of Europe’s largest lenders, like BNP Paribas, ING Bank, Nordea Bank and Société Générale. The banks and financial institutions involved in the scheme represent a combined lending power of over €3 trillion, equal to around 20% of the EU’s GDP.

In September 2018, WorldGBC’s Europe Regional Network published the report: Creating an Energy Efficient Mortgage for Europe: Towards a New Market Standard, which tackles how Europe should finance the building of an energy efficiency revolution needed to slash the 40% of Europe’s carbon emissions that come from its buildings – a staggering 97% of which are inefficient. Estimates show that Europe will miss its climate targets unless it renovates at least 23,000 homes every day until 2050.

The EU has since launched the Renovation Wave, a major programme to catalyse 35 million renovations by the end of the decade. Our groundbreaking work on green lending will help unlock some of the investment needed to achieve this. And initiatives like the BUILD UPON2 project are helping cities and national governments to provide more support to citizens looking to renovate their homes or buildings.