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Inside the Market / Market Trends

French real estate ranked 4th most sustainable in the world

Green Eiffel Tower

France has come 4th in law firm Baker & McKenzie’s “Global Green Building” ranking of 25 countries’ real estate performance in terms of energy performance and sustainability.

France ranks 4th in Baker & McKenzie’s international barometer of sustainable real estate, which focuses on the energy performance of local real estate projects. The “Global Green Building” study included 25 countries from across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. All were evaluated for their sustainable policies, schemes, trends and practices.

The report reveals that European countries are “leading the way in green buildings.” France comes behind Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands but beats several other European countries — such as Italy, Belgium and Sweden — as well as Singapore, China, Russia, Brazil and the United States.

The study focused on the following areas to classify countries’ real estate sector: environmental certifications, energy performance, incentives for modernization and upgrading environmental standards, CO2 emission reduction targets and energy savings, as well as the regulations, financing and planning around renewable energy in each country.

French legislation on sustainable real estate completes European laws on the matter, transposing EU directives into national regulations. These include the Grenelle I act of 2009, the Grenelle II act of 2010 and the more recent Energy Transition Act of August 2015, which aims to encourage the use of renewable energy and make housing and buildings more energy efficient.

France also ranks highly by virtue of the number of energy certifications and labels which exist for both residential and commercial real estate and construction in general. Nonetheless, Singapore ranks ahead of most European countries in terms of environmental certifications in real estate, with high goals set for 2030 that include making certifications mandatory for all public buildings and most private construction.

“The EU’s progression in developing policies and frameworks for building environmental performance indicators, along with legally binding legislation, is driving sustainable building within Europe,” notes Dominique Lechien, head of Baker & McKenzie’s Global Sustainability and Green Buildings Initiative.

According to Immoweek, the reason for Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands beating France in the ranking is because they transposed European directives into their respective national law much earlier than France did.

Baker & McKenzie note that the sustainability of real estate is crucial, since over a third of total CO2 emissions are generated by buildings, explaining that there has never been “a better time for us to review the current state of play in the progress and implementation of emissions targets, certification, incentives and green regulation around the world.”

Photo credit: Geograph / Rex Needle

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