The Low Carbon Building Initiative reveals the methodology for the first pan-European low carbon label, measuring the carbon footprint of real estate based on a Life-Cycle Analysis.
The real estate industry accounts for more than a third of CO2 emissions. Calculating carbon emissions at each stage of a building’s life cycle – construction, operations, and end of life – is necessary to quantify the real carbon footprint of buildings.
Launched at MIPIM in 2022, the Low Carbon Building Initiative (LCBI) gathers major real estate stakeholders to promote low carbon buildings and reduce the CO2 emissions of European real estate by half (measured in a Life-Cycle Analysis). After a year of collaborative benchmarking, data analysis, and expert1 reviews, LCBI reveals the methodology for the first version of the Low Carbon Building Initiative label.
There are many discrepancies across Europe in how Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA) is used to assess building’s carbon emission, with many different indicators, study periods, scopes, and reference areas being used. Building upon key European standards and frameworks2 , the methodology fostered by LCBI aims to harmonize the measurement and practice of Life-Cycle Analysis across Europe with a pure carbon indicator (kgCO2e/m2 ), consistent with local regulations. Considering the entire life-cycle, the future LCBI label will assess building’s performance on three criteria:
The LCBI life-cycle carbon rating will be delivered with three exemplarity levels based on:
LCBI capitalizes on the experience of the Association Bâtiment Bas Carbone (BBCA), founded in 2015, and pioneer of the first methodologies for measuring building carbon emissions on their whole life cycle in France. More than 450 projects, representing 3,000,000 m² have been or are in the process of being labelled by BBCA, this experience has made possible to considerably reduce the emissions of these projects, which are 30% to 50% less emissive than traditional constructions. The methodology developed by BBCA inspired the French low carbon real estate regulation (RE2020), which was implemented at the beginning of 2022.
The LCBI label will cover all main real estate asset classes (starting with office, hotel and residential) and address new-build, renovation, as well as in-use buildings. The LCBI label will set a clear CO2 emission reduction pathway, and thereby help real estate stakeholders in understanding, tracking and planning progress in the measurement of the carbon performance of their building stock (over its whole life cycle). Measurement of embodied as well as operational carbon of standing buildings will be particularly useful to plan ahead of restructuring projects. LCBI proposes to position life-cycle carbon emission measurement at the core of real estate strategies across Europe.
More than ten sponsors’ buildings will be assessed as “pilot operations” in order to release a first version of the LCBI label (first focusing on new-built). Ratings should be revealed by the end of 2023. The detailed methodology will be revealed through a webinar next month. To participate, register on LCBI website: www.lowcarbonbuilding.com
Arnaud Regout, President of LCBI Advisory Committee, Chief Investment Officer BPI Real Estate (CFE Group) explains: "Decarbonization of real estate is key to fighting climate change and we must act on a European scale to build a sustainable future for the industry. As the first pan European low carbon level, LCBI label is a real opportunity to promote good low carbon practices in our sector and will become a useful reporting tool for mixed-used."
Christophe Kullmann, CEO, Covivio: "A year ago, several European partners with different profiles decided to join forces to create the LCBI international low-carbon initiative. As a European player strongly committed to green real estate and with an ambitious carbon trajectory since 2018, Covivio immediately joined this initiative. The work carried out over the past year will enable the first tests to be conducted in 2023 in order to experiment with the methodology developed, based on the life cycle analysis of buildings."
Bernard Mounier, President at Bouygues Immobilier: "As a historical partner of BBCA, having worked successfully on the development of numerous of its standards, and as the organisation’s vice-president, it was essential for me and thus for Bouygues Immobilier to support the Low Carbon Building Initiative. Once again our profession shows its will to change the ways it conducts business to make sure that whether at national or European levels, it is fully committed to limiting its negative impact on the environment and reducing its carbon emissions."
Olivier Bokobza, CEO of Property Development at BNP Paribas Real Estate, explains: "We are aware of the real estate sector’s carbon footprint and so we believe it is our responsibility to take action to help meet the current climate and environmental challenges. At BNP Paribas Real Estate, across our various business lines, we made 10 commitments towards a low-carbon future, aiming to reduce the direct emissions liked to our business and the indirect emissions linked to the buildings we construct, manage and operate. We are convinced that a joint action will significantly reduce buildings’ carbon 3 impact and help make the city more sustainable. This is the reason why we commit ourselves and all our teams in Europe to the European LCBI framework."
Stéphane Villemain, Head of Sustainable Investment, Ivanhoé Cambridge, said: "We are thoroughly pleased, as founding supporters of this European project, to witness a new stage of the development of the LCBI label. We strongly believe that this initiative is critical for considering emissions throughout the buildings life cycle, using a standard and a benchmark that are not tied to country-specific regulations."
- Sustainability Officer
About BPI Real Estate
BPI Real Estate is the real estate division of the multidisciplinary group CFE, founded in 1880 and active in Belgium, Luxembourg and Poland in 4 business lines with strong growth potential because they have the potential to shape the world of tomorrow: real estate design and development, multitechnics, construction and renovation and sustainable investments. With a wealth of expertise acquired over the past 35 years, BPI Real Estate's ambition is to challenge the status quo and bring about positive change in real estate development in order to deploy innovative, inclusive and eco-responsible urban planning aimed at increasing the well-being of future generations. BPI Real Estate develops this know-how in the residential, office, retail, services and special products sectors. The company also brings its expertise in real estate design and development to Wood Shapers, a Belgian and Luxembourg company launched at the end of 2019 by BPI Real Estate and CFE Contracting (both part of the CFE group) that focuses primarily on the development, design and sustainable construction of wood and prefabricated materials.
The Low Carbon Building Initiative (LCBI), launched in 2022, unites major European real-estate stakeholders to promote low carbon buildings and reduce the CO2 emissions of European real estate by half (measured in a LifeCycle Analysis). To date LCBI sponsors include AxaIM, Bouygues Immobilier, BNP Paribas Real Estate, BPI Real Estate, Covivio, Generali Real Estate, Icamap, Ivanhoe Cambridge, NSI, WO2. The group is active across the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany. LCBI aims to create the first pan-European low carbon label measuring the carbon footprint of real estate based on a Life-Cycle Analysis. LCBI set up a scientific committee with experts and certifiers to work on the first version of the LCBI label. Artelia and Elioth are co-pilots of the scientific committee, which also includes the French Association BBCA, One Click LCA and Drees & Sommer. Bureau Veritas is the preferred certifier for the future label, expected by the end of 2023.
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