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Corporate real estate and green building: prevalence, transparency and drivers

Thomas Julian Richter (School of Management and Law, ZHAW, Winterthur, Switzerland)
Eveline Soliva (School of Management and Law, ZHAW, Winterthur, Switzerland)
Matthias Haase (Institute for Facility Management, ZHAW, Waedenswil, Switzerland)
Isabelle Wrase (Institute for Facility Management, ZHAW, Waedenswil, Switzerland)

Journal of Corporate Real Estate

ISSN: 1463-001X

Article publication date: 11 October 2021

Issue publication date: 19 October 2022




Green building is a megatrend in corporate real estate management. This paper aims to document the prevalence of green building reporting in public firms, assess how well firms apply good practices of green building and show which firms, countries and industry sectors are particularly advanced in the application of green building technologies.


The study uses data on green building reporting, green building scores and firm characteristics of 1,281 publicly traded firms from different industries in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries over a 5-year period. Regression analysis is used to relate the adoption of green building reporting and excellence in green building to firm characteristics.


The results indicate that there is a huge variation in green building activities and reporting in corporate real estate management across countries and industries. The study finds that firms in the financial and health-care sectors are leading in green building reporting. Environmental, social and corporate governance-oriented, profitable and large firms receive the highest green building scores.

Research limitations/implications

The results in this paper rely on the reported but not inevitably monitored green building activities. There may also be companies that use green building technologies but do not report on them. The conclusions are largely based on correlations and do not allow for causal statements (endogenous variables).

Practical implications

The results in this paper are crucial for practitioners in corporate real estate to benchmark their green building activities and reporting. Additionally, the paper sheds light on how information on green building is propagated in the financial market.


The paper looks at the drivers and barriers of green building for 25 countries and across all industry sectors (1,281 firms). In contrast to that most of the existing literature focuses on single countries and limits the analysis to companies in the real estate and construction industry. Additionally, the paper has a joint focus on publicly available green building reporting and green building scores.



Richter, T.J., Soliva, E., Haase, M. and Wrase, I. (2022), "Corporate real estate and green building: prevalence, transparency and drivers", Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 241-255.



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