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Sustainability metrics for commercial real estate assets – establishing a common approach

Louise Ellison (Quintain Estates and Development PLC, London, UK)
Patrick Brown (British Property Federation, London, UK)

Journal of European Real Estate Research

ISSN: 1753-9269

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




The purpose of the paper is to establish a common framework for measuring and reporting sustainability for commercial property assets.


The paper is based on a review of a series of benchmarking tools and company reports plus workshop consultation with industry.


The paper produces an initial list of common metrics for the measurement and monitoring of key sustainability indicators for commercial property. The complexity presented by the heterogeneity of property assets is discussed and suggested means of normalising for particular buildings types is provided.

Research limitations/implications

The research draws largely from desk research of existing tools and company reports. It does not attempt to produce additional reporting methods, rather to draw on and simplify those already in place. The work is largely UK focused.

Practical implications

The work has significant practical implications in that it makes recommendations for a common approach to sustainability reporting at the building level for industry to adopt. This will aid decision making as it will enhance understanding of the sustainability performance of assets relative to their peer group whilst also supporting higher corporate‐level reporting and hence transparency.

Social implications

Greater clarity of reporting for commercial property would be beneficial in reducing the negative impacts of the asset class on the environment and on society.


The paper aims to provide clear guidance in what has become a crowded and complex area. This is of significant value to the sector.



Ellison, L. and Brown, P. (2011), "Sustainability metrics for commercial real estate assets – establishing a common approach", Journal of European Real Estate Research, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 113-130.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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