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BREEAM USA’s North American Portfolio Expands

Photo courtesy of BREEAM

BREEAM, the global sustainable building assessment and certification developed by BRE Global (BRE), saw what it called “robust” expansion across its North American portfolio in 2023.

Last year saw the number of BREEAM-certified assets across North America grow by 96% as the platform expanded into four new states, bringing the number of states boasting BREEAM-certified projects to a total of 31. Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin all welcomed their first BREEAM-certified projects, while several other states witnessed massive expansion; BREEAM certifications more than doubled in California, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas and Georgia, while Washington state took the lead with 300% growth in BREEAM-certified assets year over year.

“In a year marked by an increased awareness of climate risks and a heightened emphasis on accountability within the real estate sector, sustainability maintained its position as a dominant industry theme — and its importance is only poised to grow over coming years as we confront the worsening physical and financial effects of climate change,” said Jane Goddard, director of corporate affairs at BRE Group. “Considerations ranging from carbon emissions and achieving net zero to community impact and broader asset resilience continued to sit top of mind for key industry stakeholders, and the conversation around ESG continued to evolve, building on years prior and taking on a more definite shape as the market’s most significant concerns and opportunities took center stage.”

Last year saw the platform’s expansion into a new industry with the first-ever BREEAM-certified healthcare office in North America. Meanwhile, additional asset classes such as office, industrial and hospitality saw marked development — experiencing annual certification growth of 167%, 133% and 150%, respectively. This industry-level expansion was most evident in the multifamily sector, which experienced a 438% spike in the number of certifications granted nationwide from 2022 to 2023.

The platform also significantly expanded its educational offerings in 2023. Take, for example, BREEAM’s insight-driven ESG Webinar Series, through which expert panels continued to provide timely insights on pressing ESG issues and opportunities such as alignment with GRESB and value retention and climate risk mitigation over the past year.

“BREEAM’s incredible momentum is a testament to the tremendous, industry-wide demand for a tailored and science-backed methodology for performance assessment, benchmarking and certification,” said Breana Wheeler, U.S. director of operations at BRE. “Thanks to the visionary owners, operators, investors and other partners who continue to recognize and utilize BREEAM’s impact as a tool for sustainable advancement, we made historic inroads and celebrated milestone achievements across North America in 2023. Heading into 2024, we eagerly anticipate even wider adoption of BREEAM’s standards — encouraging portfolios of all sizes, across all regions and property types, to elevate their sustainable performance and lower emissions while increasing short- and long-term value.”