In 2007, we announced our position on environmental sustainability, recognizing the responsibility that comes with our industry leadership position. Since then, we have improved our internal operations, engaged our clients globally to assist them in their sustainable practices, and collaborated with non-governmental organizations in dialog around environmental sustainability. In 2010, we became the first company in our industry to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations. We updated our environmental sustainability policy in 2012 and again in 2016, as seen here.

POLICY

CBRE is committed to implementing environmentally sustainable best practices for our own operations and to assist our clients in their efforts to address their environmental concerns. This Policy describes CBRE’s practices and programs that work to reduce our environmental impact and drive sustainable real estate practices. 

BACKGROUND

There is a growing consensus that climate change, exacerbated by increasing greenhouse gas emissions, will dramatically alter our future way of life. There is an expectation that global firms understand the environmental impact of their business operations and actively seek ways to measure and mitigate these impacts. Nearly all Fortune 500 firms annually report on their efforts through reporting protocols such as CDP and the Global Reporting Index (GRI), while actively competing for recognition on indices such as the FTSE4GOOD and Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).  

Real estate and particularly office buildings are at the center of many of the important environmental and social issues of our time. In addition to significant energy usage and the resultant CO2 emissions, the built environment also plays a significant role in water, waste, transportation and workforce discussions. As a result many large companies today make specific public reference to the type, quality and environmental aspects of the buildings they have chosen to occupy. As a further result, investors are increasingly seeking these assets for their owned portfolios. These investors are also reporting their efforts through global protocols such as Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and seeking green building certification, as evidenced by our own sponsored research.

These factors provide a unique dual opportunity and responsibility for CBRE. First, we are among those global firms striving to demonstrate and improve upon our environmental standing. Many of the aspects defined in this policy are aimed at that task. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, as the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm we have the opportunity to assist our clients, both occupier and investor, in their efforts to address their environmental concerns through our advice and specialized services. Additionally our scope and scale permits us a special platform to participate in the global discussion of this important topic.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all businesses and departments globally, including all corporate office locations, lines of business, shared services and operational business units. 

RESPONSIBILITIES

Oversight of this Policy, the incorporation of environmental practices, and reporting on performance to this policy is the duty of the Corporate Responsibility Department.

PROVISIONS AND CONDITIONS

CBRE will implement this Policy through the following tenets of an effective environmental sustainability program.  

1.         Environmental Targets. We adopted a science based greenhouse gas reduction target attributed to our corporate operations in accordance with the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTI).  We will annually measure our greenhouse gas footprint and track performance against the stated targets and report the results. Further we will set internal reduction goals and develop guidelines for responsible fleet management practices and travel related activities with a focus on minimizing the environmental impact and C02 emissions from each.

2.         Occupancy. We give preference to certified green buildings for our leased corporate facilities, and/or pursue interior design and construction certification using recognized green building standards such as LEED, BREEAM, and Green Star for our relocated or refurbished facilities larger than 20,000 square feet. Additionally, we promote the adoption of specific environmental practices in the construction of all of our offices including the installation of occupancy sensors, utility sub-meters and the purchase of non-carbon based energy for building use.

3.         Internal Certification. We promote the annual CBRE developed office certification program to all offices globally over 5,000 square feet. All corporate offices shall comply with these or other comparable regionally established standards and best practices for operational improvement and efficiency to maximize resource conservation and reduce environmental impact.

4.         Client Services. We continue to develop and provide comprehensive energy and sustainability advice and services to our clients, encouraging and collaborating with them to adopt or enhance responsible environmental policies and practices in their real estate holdings whenever possible and seek to elevate their disclosure rankings.

5.         Public Policy. We take an active role in the public policy debate regarding effective solutions to climate change and related environmental matters. We seek input from stakeholders and clients and contribute to environmental discussions through membership and open dialogue in industry associations, non-governmental organizations and academic forums. We will continue to seek external partners for their input into the effective implementation of our goals.

6.         Thought Leadership. We actively engage in thought leadership and collaborate with academics and industry partners in research projects that will advance sustainable practices in the built environment.

7.         Compliance with Laws and Regulations. We comply with all prevailing environmental laws and regulations throughout our international network of offices and workplaces.

8.         Corporate Responsibility and Reporting. We prepare an annual Corporate Responsibility Report in accordance with GRI standards to report our progress and present future goals. We will continue to report annually to CDP and other sustainability protocols.

9.         Global Corporate Responsibility Governance. We convene the Global Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee which is accountable for implementing, governing and further developing this Policy.