Corporate Responsibility

2021 Corporate Responsibility Report

Impact for a Sustainable Future

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We take great pride in our reputation for upholding the highest standards in the way we do business.

Read the Full 2021 CSR Report

CBRE’s 15th annual Corporate Responsibility report highlights how we deliver exceptional results for our clients while also focusing on our company’s role in creating positive impacts for people and the planet.

To realize a more sustainable and just future for all, our approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues aligns with 10 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and rooted in the communities where we live and work.

People are the heart of what we do and why we do it and it’s the hard work of our employees that makes world-class solutions possible. As we emerge from the challenges of the pandemic, we continue to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all our employees while fostering a more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture.

2021 Corporate Responsibility Report At-a-Glance


spend with small and diverse suppliers
charitable giving (incl. employee donations)
Net Zero
by 2040 commitment
employee wellbeing and inclusion scores
executives completed unconscious bias training
green bonds/notes issued
ENERGY STAR registered buildings (346.9 million sq. ft.)
energy and sustainability experts (GWS and Advisory)
energy efficient and decarbonization projects 272,000 metric tons CO2 reduced (GWS)

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Impact for Our Planet


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With buildings responsible for 40% of carbon emissions globally and our 7.1 billion square feet of managed property, CBRE has an outsized opportunity to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions through our own operations, services for our investor and occupier clients, and our entire value chain. 

We have set ambitious targets for the next two decades. 

In 2021, CBRE announced our commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040—10 years ahead of the goal set by the Paris Agreement. This builds on our science-based targets to reduce emissions from our own operations by 68% by 2035. As part of this commitment, CBRE signed The Climate Pledge, a cross-sector community of companies and organizations working together to address the climate crisis and solve the challenges of decarbonizing our economy and realize net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Achieving our aspirations will include a continued focus on:

Emissions and Energy

CBRE has committed to achieving 100% renewable electricity by the end of 2025. In addition, we have committed to transitioning our service fleet to electric vehicles (EV) by 2035. In 2021, we ordered 300 EV vans and 10 EV trucks, representing replacement of over 10% of CBRE vans in the U.S. 

Strategic Partnerships

  • Altus Power Our partnership offers integrated renewable energy transformation solutions for clients across North America.
  • Redaptive, Inc., an integrated energy efficiency solutions and energy financing firm for building owners and occupiers.

Advancing Net Zero

CBRE is a sponsor of the World Green Building Council’s Advancing Net Zero program, which seeks to decarbonize the sector by 2050. We provide insights and expertise, contributing to the resources and knowledge sharing critical for advancing net-zero carbon buildings.

Workplace Strategy

By the end of 2021, we opened 100 Workplace360 offices worldwide, representing 49% of our global occupied space. These spaces follow an open format, free-address and paperless environment supported by leading-edge technology tools and platforms. In addition to energy savings, in 2021, we saved 314,483 pounds of CO2 through offices furnished using recycled content. 8 additional locations are already planned for 2022.

Resources and Recycling

CBRE’s Digital & Technology and Procurement teams collaborate to support the company’s sustainability efforts through the responsible recycling and disposal of technology equipment. For example, in the Americas Region in 2021, we sent approximately 15,000 end-of-life assets—including laptops, servers and monitors—to our asset recovery service. We saved more than 8.5 million kilowatt hours and more than 1,470 Metric Tons of CO2e. That amounts to reducing more than 1,300 passenger vehicles from the road for one year and more than 14,000 barrels of oil consumed. In addition, our vendor planted more than 100,000 tree seedlings that will sequester carbon for 10 years.

Energy & Sustainability Services

CBRE believes sustainability and environmental stewardship is core to real estate and facilities services, and we are rapidly developing new solutions globally that help clients meet their public commitments.

Our team includes more than 575 energy and sustainability experts and experienced professionals within our Advisory and GWS business segments.

We offer a breadth of services for GWS clients, including: GHG inventory management and analytics, decarbonization solutions, efficiency as a service (EaaS), smart buildings systems integration, energy demand management, energy procurement, green energy procurement, certification services, sustainability consulting, green leasing and more.

CBRE follows principles of cost-effective and environmentally conscious property management for all CBRE-managed buildings. The program minimizes property carbon emissions and operational impact through rewarded behaviors and encourages CBRE employees and service partners to advise and assist clients in making financially appropriate environmental decisions for their assets. In addition, we require property managers to register and benchmark office buildings using the EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager program.

During 2021, CBRE registered and benchmarked 5,941 buildings, representing more than 346.9 million sq. ft., in the ENERGY STAR program.

Sustainable Supplier Screening

We are committed to building a low-carbon supply chain, driving economic growth and uplifting communities while mitigating supply chain risks. 

We conduct supplier ESG screening because we have a responsibility to mitigate negative environmental and social impacts in our supply chain and require our suppliers to conduct their operations in an inclusive, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner. 

Globally, 91 CBRE offices totaling more than 3.36 million sq. ft. have been certified under LEED, BREEAM, WELL or Fitwel, representing approximately 53% of our occupied space.

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Impact for Our People

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

An inclusive culture is a thriving culture. We are committed to our employees feeling safe, valued and heard.

Learn more about DE&I at CBRE

People are the heart of CBRE. And our approach to corporate responsibility relies on our people. 

Our initiatives are designed to reflect the communities where we live and work while investing in and engaging with our employees, partners and communities to help businesses and people thrive. 

From key programs to attract, engage and develop world-class talent who drive results for our clients to initiatives that contribute to a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture where our people feel heard, valued and engaged. We have been leading the industry to foster a workplace where employees are safe and well at the start and end of their day. And, we collaborate with business partners, suppliers and the community to realize improved outcomes and a sustainable future. 

We are focused on our workforce representation and building our talent to reflect the communities where we live and work. While we are not yet where we want to be, we are making some progress in key areas.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In 2021, we continued to lay the foundation for accelerating progress with investments to grow our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) team, which expanded fivefold. Our team includes DE&I subject matter experts in learning and development, communications, program management, data analytics and procurement DE&I is a company-wide effort and we look at it the same way we approach every business imperative for CBRE and our clients: with an intentional focus on data, innovation, and outcomes.

Supplier Diversity

In 2020, CBRE announced a pledge to spend at least $1 billion with diverse suppliers in 2021 and to continue to grow this spend over the next four years. CBRE exceed this goal by 20%. In total in 2021, CBRE awarded $3.2 billion to small and diverse suppliers.

Workplace Wellbeing & Safety

In 2021, we saw high scores for safety and wellbeing in our employee engagement survey. Safety scored 88%, increasing two points from 2019, and our wellbeing score increased seven points to 75%. These improvements reflect our ongoing commitment to achieving the highest standards of safety and wellbeing performance

In recognition of the ongoing challenges people experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including physical wellbeing concerns and reduced feelings of connectedness, CBRE expanded our focus on promoting a caring workplace culture to foster employee wellbeing. In 2021 we offered 24 workshops on wellbeing tools and programs, 12 task force meetings to build and monitor these program and acted on 23,000 comments from our employee engagement survey.

Community and Giving

Investing in and supporting the communities where we live and work around the world is a priority for CBRE and our employees. Through direct contributions from the company, the CBRE Foundation and our employees—including volunteer time—we are able to make a difference for both people and the planet. In 2021, our corporate philanthropic strategy evolved to focus on two main areas that align with our company’s overarching ESG priorities: tackling climate change as part of our environmental sustainability initiatives and increasing educational and career opportunities for underrepresented populations as part of our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

CBRE Charitable Giving 2021

Total charitable giving amount

includes employee donations 
Total corporate giving amount

Total employee giving amount

Total CBRE Foundation giving amount

We have some big goals, and while the shift won’t happen overnight, you will definitely see the progress we’re making. When I step back and consider how my work directly impacts communities where we do business, it is incredibly rewarding.
Veronica H.Corporate Responsibility Manager
Person Image

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Impact with Ethical Practices

CBRE leads with the highest ethics and integrity with everything we do. 

We have a strong governing system that guides our company’s strategy and policies while delivering excellent outcomes for our clients. 

Board of Directors 

CBRE has a 10-member Board of Directors. Nine directors are deemed independent and the 10th director is our President and CEO, Bob Sulentic. This level of independence exceeds the majority standard established by our Corporate Governance Guidelines. Our Board seeks directors who represent a mix of backgrounds and experiences, that will enhance the quality of our Board’s deliberations and decisions. When evaluating candidates, our Board considers whether potential nominees possess integrity, accountability, informed judgment, financial literacy, mature confidence and high-performance standards.

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Additional details on our Board and Governance can be found in our 2022 Proxy Statement
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Additional details on our Board and Governance can be found in our 2022 Proxy Statement

Ethics & Compliance

CBRE’s Ethics & Compliance program maintains and supports a consistent culture of values and ensures that our success is achieved with integrity. This includes a robust and internally transparent policy management platform accessible to all employees around the globe, as well as a variety of ways that employees and stakeholders can bring issues forward if there is concern that someone may be doing something that violates our values, policies or the law. 

CBRE’s Ethics & Compliance Ambassadors program is comprised of 475 employees who expand the reach of CBRE’s Ethics & Compliance team. Ambassadors are some of CBRE’s top talent who serve as the boots on the ground and the eyes and ears of compliance. They act as influencers and role models to their peers—and a vital point of contact in local markets and lines of business.

Code of Conduct

CBRE is firmly committed to conducting business with the highest integrity and in compliance with the letter and spirit of the law. CBRE’s Standards of Business Conduct is the company’s most senior policy. 

The Standards of Business Conduct outlines expectations of employees relating to each other; our business partners, clients and competitors; our corporate resources; and our communities. It affirms our culture of ethics and compliance and preserves the valuable trust of our clients. 

Public Policy & Political Participation

CBRE policy prohibits the use of company funds for contributions to political candidates, political parties, or candidate campaigns, and we do not have a political action committee. CBRE has long held this position to avoid the possibility of unintended and undue pressure on employees to participate politically in ways that conflict with their personal beliefs and to minimize potential conflicts of interest when pursuing government contract work. CBRE does not make political contributions, does not pressure our employees to make them, and we do not reimburse employees who choose to make them. 

Human Rights

As a global company with operations in more than 100 countries, CBRE has an opportunity to make a positive contribution in every location in which we do business. We believe all people should be valued and respected and have the right to choose their own destiny. We are dedicated to complying with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and commit to embedding human rights practices into our global culture. 

We have developed and implemented a dedicated global Human Rights Compliance program, the cornerstone of which, is our Human Rights Policy which recognizes our responsibility to always respect human rights in our operations, to promote an appropriate example and to make a positive global impact. 

Data Privacy

We respect individual privacy rights and the security of personal information. CBRE is committed to ensuring that all personal data that CBRE collects and processes--from our employees, vendors or clients--is handled in accordance with applicable data protection and privacy laws throughout its entire lifecycle. 

Harassment-Free Workplace

CBRE is determined to combat workplace harassment in any form, particularly sexual and racial misconduct. Harassment in all forms is unacceptable and contrary to our values and the culture and work environment we strive to create for our employees.

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