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Commercial Real Estate: Unlocking the Energy Efficiency Retrofit Investment Opportunity

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James Gray-Donald, Toby Heaps, Laurie Weir, Frank Hovorka, Tatiana Bosteels, Carrie Douglas-Fong, Anuschka Hilke, Gil Levy
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This UNEP Finance Initiative investor briefing synthesizes practices from real estate leaders in the form of a seven-step process for how investors can increase the value of their real estate assets through energy efficiency retrofits. Each step is supported by a practical example of how it has been addressed and implemented by an investor. The central arguments of this report are: (1) the scale of the investment opportunity in energy efficiency building retrofits is significant, (2) there is a robust business case for these types of investments and cost-effectiveness fares better than in most other sectors of the economy, (3) a traditional response to these market failures has been the introduction of new policies, tax breaks, grants and loan programs; even most profitable retrofit opportunities remain untapped with these incentives in place, (4) a complementary market-driven approach is to translate these challenges into three investment-related root causes and develop a practical framework for how to address them and (5) whatever their property mixes, there are steps owners and managers can take.