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Ultimate Guide to Sustainability and Environmental Certifications

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What’s inside our ultimate guide to environmental accreditations?

Take a sneak peek inside our guide for the latest insight into environmental accreditations. What are the top 10 sustainability certifications that can drive meaningful revenue for your property portfolio? Let's find out.

There’s no doubt about it, environmental accreditations are fast-becoming synonymous with the property market. But are any actually worth the investment?

In our opinion, there are 10 accreditations that are worth your time.

EPC

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a report that assesses the energy efficiency of a property, providing recommendations for improvement. Note that EPC regulations are currently changing and commercial buildings may need a rating of B + by 2030. You’ll see in our guide that many are currently falling far short of the mark.

BREEAM

First published by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in 1990, BREEAM is the world’s longest established method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings. It recognises and reflects the value in higher performing assets across the built environment lifecycle, from new construction to in-use and refurbishment.

Standard LEED

Like BREEAM, LEED is an internationally recognised green building program. It provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. LEED promotes design and construction practices that increase profitability, whilst also reducing the negative environmental impacts of buildings.

SKA

SKA rating helps landlords and tenants assess fit-out projects against a set of sustainability criteria. This consists of 109 individual good-practice measures, covering everything from energy and CO2 to waste and pollution. Assessments are carried out at three stages: design, delivery and occupancy and projects can achieve ratings of Bronze, Silver or Gold based on performance.

Fitwell

Fitwel is a building rating system for commercial interiors that provides guidelines on how to design and operate healthier buildings. It specifically looks at staff wellbeing, and rates a building based on 7 health impact categories. Fitwel has identified 63 evidence-backed strategies that have proven to increase the health & wellbeing of building occupants. What’s more, the rating system can be used as a roadmap to aid the design of your new office.

WELL Building

Launched in 2015, WELL is now the world’s leading tool for advancing health and well-being in buildings. To do so, it utilises a flexible framework for improving health and human experience through design. We’ve talked more about well-being in the workplace here.

WIREDScore

Founded in 2013, WIRED SCORE is tasked with making the world’s buildings better connected. Although the process varies per client and project, there are three standard steps to WIREDScore:

1. Engineers evaluate a building’s connectivity and digital infrastructure

2. Test results provided to WiredScore

3. If a building passes the assessment, WiredScore promotes your space via third-party platforms

The idea is that this will enable a more collaborative, innovative and dynamic future for all of us.

AirRated

AirRated delivers an easily recognisable, international benchmark for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). The certification is underpinned by leading medical and scientific research and industry best practice guidelines. Of course, this accreditation has become even more important in the past couple of years. And with staff returning to the office, this is definitely one to consider.

GRESB

GRESB is a relatively new entry certification that’s objective is to make real estate a sustainable long-term investment. The GRESB Real Estate Assessment is the global standard for ESG benchmarking and reporting for listed property companies, private property funds, developers and investors that invest directly in real estate.

B Corp

One final honourable mention goes to B Corp. Although it's not property-specific, this certification is only awarded to businesses with the highest social and environmental performance. Essentially, ‘B Corps’ balance purpose and profit; they consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. Interested in becoming B Corp? Find out more about what’s entailed in our guide.

Ready to learn more?

We go into more detail about each sustainability certification (and why you need them) in our latest guide: ‘Your ultimate guide to environmental accreditations’.

Web DAI photo by Tom Bird 3

Download our ultimate guide to environmental accreditations today

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