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News release


U.S. Rises in JLL’s 2016 Environmental Sustainability Real Estate Transparency Index 

France, Japan and Dubai also show leadership in real estate sustainability

CHICAGO, September 28, 2016 – The United States jumped from the semi-transparent to transparent tier in JLL's Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Index, which measures the availability of a range of key environmental transparency tools in 37 countries globally. The U.S. was one of 17 countries that improved its overall score since the last survey two years ago, with 13 remaining static and three declining.

The U.S. rise is the result of two factors. First, commercial state energy codes in all major U.S. real estate markets now require a minimum energy efficiency standard for new construction. Second, major markets, such as New York, have mandated that renovation requires compliance with relevant energy codes.

Globally, France topped JLL's index for the first time, thanks to the consistent roll-out of legislated mandates to transition to a low carbon economy.  Japan has moved up from the transparent group to join France, Australia and the UK in the highly transparent group, thanks to the introduction of several new sustainability tools.

Dubai improved transparency due to the introduction of mandatory green building specifications for new constructions of residential, commercial and public buildings in the Emirate.

Franz Jenowein, director and head of global sustainability research at JLL commented: "Environmental performance considerations are becoming more widely established across global markets, but the pace of progress in creating new tools and regulations is slow.  Clearly defined carbon reporting frameworks and obligations for companies are missing in too many countries. It can only be hoped that the success of the Paris Agreement on climate change, last December in Paris, will stimulate a wider introduction of standardised carbon reporting instruments."

Voluntary instruments complementing compliance-driven tools have an important role to push real estate portfolio transparency to the next level. The most widely used investor portfolio benchmarking tool across a wide variety of variables, the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), now covers 61,000 assets worldwide, a positive year-on-year increase of nine percent.

Other key country movers:

  • Finland, one of the four new entrants along with Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand, has gone straight into the 'transparent' tier and is now alongside more advanced markets such as Singapore and Germany.
  • Switzerland, like the U.S., moved from the semi-transparent group into transparent.
  • Slovakia, Romania and South Korea have moved from low transparency up to semi-transparent.

Key highlights in sustainability measures:

  • The most ubiquitous environmental transparency instruments, and cornerstones of environmental performance transparency, are minimum energy efficiency standards for the design of new buildings (mandatory in 87 percent of all countries) and market-specific green building certification schemes are publicly available in 65 percent of all countries in the Index.
  • The least available transparency instrument continues to be the financial performance indicator for green buildings, which is available in only four of the 37 analysed countries – France, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
  • Another 'rare' transparency tool is carbon emission reporting frameworks, established as a mandatory obligation in four markets and as a voluntary tool in seven countries around the world.

Notes to Editors
The Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Transparency Index is part of JLL's ninth Global Real Estate Transparency Index, which covers 109 markets worldwide, and shows continued progress in the transparency of commercial real estate around the world. Two-thirds of markets have registered overall improvement since 2014. Improvement is generally correlated with higher foreign direct investment and corporate occupier activity, as investors and corporations help to accelerate transparency reforms and governments recognise that poor transparency will affect continued inward investment, long-term economic growth prospects and the quality of life of citizens.

The Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Index analyzes 37 markets that represent 97 percent of global direct commercial real estate investment volumes in 2015. The index tracks the following sustainability measures:

  • Carbon reporting
  • Energy consumption benchmarking
  • Financial performance
  • Green building certification
  • Green lease clauses
  • Minimum energy standards (existing buildings)
  • Minimum energy building standards (new build)

Visit to access the Global Real Estate Transparency Index in full, as well as interactive tools and multimedia content.

About JLL
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. A Fortune 500 company with annual fee revenue of $5.2 billion and gross revenue of $6.0 billion, JLL has more than 280 corporate offices, operates in more than 80 countries and has a global workforce of more than 60,000. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 4.0 billion square feet, or 372 million square meters, and completed $138 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2015. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $59.1 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.