According to the 2020 Buildings Global Status Report, the operation of buildings accounts for 28% of total global energy-related CO2 emissions. With the inclusion of emissions from the construction industry, this number increases to 38%. Yet the building sector offers the largest cost-effective GHG mitigation potential, with net cost savings and economic gains possible through the implementation of existing technologies, policies and building designs.

UNEP FI’s Responsible Property Investment initiative has convened the Property Working Group (PWG) to address the most imminent challenges in the field of sustainable real estate investment. The PWG aims to

  • Drive innovation by facilitating access to relevant information and best practice, as well as develop the necessary tools that property investors and professionals can systematically apply and integrate ESG criteria into investment and lending decisions.
  • Collect and provide evidence to show how responsible property investment can protect or increase financial performance throughout the lifecycle of buildings, while simultaneously creating environmental and social goods.
  • Support the real estate investment community in developing voluntary best practices and shaping policy and regulatory frameworks for a low-carbon and climate-resilient buildings sector globally.


Response to the COVID-19 Crisis and Recovery

Aligning with the Paris Climate Agreement

  • Piloting an approach to scenario development and portfolio analysis for property investors to build the first set of climate-related physical and transition risks disclosures in alignment with the recommendations of TCFD.
  • Publication of the results from a survey of global real estate investors on the strategy and practice changes being seen within institutions and across the sector to deepen ESG integration and raise ambition toward meeting the Paris climate goals.
  • Publication of the Sustainable Real Estate Investment Framework to provide a step-by-step guide that real estate investors, their advisors and asset managers can apply to systematically integrate ESG and climate risks factors into their investment processes.
  • Through the Global Alliance on Buildings and Construction, providing leadership on investment gaps in countries’ NDCs with regards to buildings as well as contributing to status reports, roadmaps, building data tools and setting of Science Based Targets for property sector’s decarbonisation and resilience.

Positive Impact and Financing the SDGs

Increasing Investment in Energy Efficiency

PWG Members

  • Allianz Real Estate (Allianz SE), Germany
  • Aviva Investors (Aviva plc), UK
  • Axa Real Estate Managers (Axa – Group Management Services), France
  • Bank J. Safra Sarasin AG, Switzerland
  • BentallGreenOak, USA & Canada
  • BMO Real Estate Partners Asset Management, UK
  • BNP Paribas Real Estate Investment Services (BNP Paribas Fortis), France
  • Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, France
  • CBRE Global Investors, USA
  • City Development Limited, Singapore
  • Citibank, USA
  • DWS, Germany & USA
  • Federated Hermes, UK
  • Investa Property Group, Australia
  • Ivanhoé Cambridge, Canada
  • Japan Real Estate Asset Management Co, Ltd, Japan
  • La Française Group, France
  • LaSalle Investment Management, USA
  • Lendlease, Australia
  • Link REIT, Hong Kong
  • M&G Real Estate, UK
  • Mitsubishi Corp.-UBS Realty Inc., Japan
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corporation, Japan
  • Nomura Real Estate Asset Management, Japan
  • Nordea Life and Pension, Norway
  • Orix Asset Management Corporation, Japan
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Limited, Japan
  • Thomas Lloyd, UK
  • Trillium Asset Management, UK & USA
  • UBS Global Real Estate (UBS AG), Switzerland
  • Zurich Insurance Company, Switzerland

PWG Chairs

  • Anna Murray, Managing Director, Global Head of ESG, BentallGreenOak (2021-2023)
  • Calvin Kwan, General Manager, Corporate Development & Strategy, Link REIT (2019-2021)

Advisory Group

  • Maria Atkinson, Atkinson Consultancy (Australia)
  • Michael Brooks, CEO of the Real Property Association of Canada (Canada)
  • Ryuichi Horie, Co-founder and CEO, CSR Design Green Investment Advisory (Japan)
  • Gary Pivo, Professor of Urban Planning and Professor of Natural Resources, The University of Arizona (US)
  • Sarah Sayce, Part-time Professor, University of Reading (UK)


  • The Property Working Group maintains an active collaboration with the Principles for Responsible Investment practices team to accelerate ESG integration within the real assets investment community, as well as ongoing communication with real estate industry associations and sustainability leadership groups globally.


For more information on UNEP FI’s work on property investments, please contact Matthew Ulterino

16 August 2021

New report examines how real estate markets respond to physical impacts of climate risk

Geneva 16 August 2021 – A new report investigating the extent that real estate markets are pricing in risk from the physical impacts of climate change has been published today. In line with increasing investor and regulator requests for forward-looking analyses of assets and portfolios, the authors sought to better understand the variables that can…

6 May 2020

Property sector perspectives on ESG, COVID‑19, and managing crises

The UNEP FI Property Working Group (PWG) convened virtually for two discussion forums to share information on how institutions are managing the public health and economic crisis from COVID-19, and thoughts on how institutions need to plan and operate for a post-crisis recovery. There is strong consensus that institutions with deeply ingrained approaches to integrating…

18 December 2017

Nomura Real Estate Asset Management becomes 11th member of UNEP FI’s Japan Group

Nomura Real Estate Asset Management Co., Ltd. (NOREAM) has recently joined UNEP FI, becoming the 11th member of the Japan Group. President & CEO Ambe Norio said, “While seeking the sustainable improvement of mid- and long-term performance, acting with fiduciary responsibility, and increasing ESG investment, our company manages a number of funds including the Nomura…

24 January 2017

CDL becomes first UNEP FI member in Singapore

  UNEP FI is very pleased to welcome its first Singapore-based member, City Developments Limited (CDL), one of Singapore’s largest companies by market capitalization. CDL is an international real estate and hotel conglomerate, with a track record of over 50 years in real estate development, investment and management. As one of Singapore’s largest commercial landlords, CDL…

29 November 2016

Japan Sustainable Building Consortium: The 3​rd​ Symposium on Paris Agreement and ESG in Real Estate Investments

The 3rd Symposium on the Paris Agreement and ESG in Real Estate Investments was hosted by the Institute for Building Environment and Energy Conservation (IBEC) and jointly-hosted by Japan Sustainable Building Consortium (JSBC), UNEP FI and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Nearly 200 experts who engage in construction, real estate and asset management industries participated…

9 October 2019 | Tokyo, Japan

ESG Real Estate Investment Japan Seminar

UNEP Finance Initiative together with the Japanese Principles for Financial Action (PFA), a Japan nation-wide sustainable finance forum, held a seminar on ESG investments in real estate. Taking the opportunity of the visit to Japan by the UNEP FI’s Property Working Group Co-Chair Anna Murray, Vice President, Sustainable Investing, BentallGreenOak, the Working Group members in…

28 February 2019 | BrightTALK webinar

Webinar: Positive Impact Real Estate Investment Framework

UNEP FI has recently published its Positive Impact Real Estate Investment Framework, part of a suite of resources to address the SDG financing gap and shift financing practices so that environmental, social and economic impacts are fully considered, intended and measured in investment activities. This webinar will provide an overview of the Framework, and include presentations from practitioners using an impact-based approach in their investment strategies and acquisition and management.

10 July 2018

Webinar: Positive Impact – Real Estate Investment Framework

The UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and collaborators (RICS, PRI, Global Investor Coalition) is developing an impact-based investment framework for real estate to address the SDG financing gap. UNEP FI’s Property Working Group has issued a discussion paper which introduces a positive impact investment framework and requests feedback on the opportunities and challenges in investing…

Managing Climate, Environment, Social and Governance in Real Estate

A follow up framework for action to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement 8 February 2016 | London, UK Six of the world’s largest investor networks have come together to create a concise, actionable framework for Real Estate investors to help make sense of existing ESG guidance and provide a follow up framework for action to…

UNEP FI and PRI joint Webinar: “Implementing Responsible Property Investment Strategies”

, Webinar | 24 February 2011, 15:00 – 16:00, CET Physical impacts of climate change pose substantial risks to future property values whilst rising energy prices are increasing building occupation costs and influencing choice. In the face of these and other such emerging challenges adopting responsible property investment approaches by integrating application of ESG issues…

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Climate Risk and Commercial Property Values

This report provides real estate practitioners and investors support in understanding the physical risks arising from climate change with a specific focus on how these risks affect commercial real estate asset values and prices. It also offers recommendations for next steps by market actors, policy makers and researchers connected with commercial real estate to guide future cross-sector engagement and research.

Changing Course: Real Estate – TCFD pilot project report and investor guide to scenario-based climate risk assessment in Real Estate Portfolios

Twelve institutional investors from eight countries, convened by UNEP FI and supported by Carbon Delta, have worked throughout 2018–2019 to analyse, evaluate, and test, state-of-the- art methodologies to enable 1.5°C, 2°C, and 3°C scenario-based analysis of their direct property investment portfolios in line with the recommendations of the FSB’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures…

Global ESG Real Estate Investment Survey Results

In late 2018, a global survey was conducted to better understand how the attitudes, strategies, and practices of real estate investors, and fund and asset managers are incorporating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria, and the degree to which they may need to strengthen their commitments so that their portfolios are aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. More than…

Positive Impact Real Estate Investment Framework

The UNEP FI Property Working Group, in collaboration with RICS, PRI, and members of the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change, have produced a practical, action-oriented framework to accelerate a new financing paradigm for the delivery of the global SDGs. The 25 leading institutional investors and asset managers of the UNEP FI Property Working Group…

Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century – South Africa Roadmap

The PRI, The Generation Foundation and UNEP FI have launched a series of roadmaps as part of the Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century initiative. The publications are the culmination of extensive consultation with regulators, investors, policy makers and attorneys across the countries. They make a series of recommendations to enable the market-wide adoption of…

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