BREEAM USA’s 2022 in Review: Sustainable Asset Certification Grows by Over 155%

In 2022, the number of BREEAM-certified assets in the U.S. skyrocketed, seeing growth of nearly 160% in total certificates issued year-over-year.

Chicago Skyline Aerial Drone View From Above Lake Michigan And City Of Chicago Downtown Skyscrapers Cityscape From Lincoln Park Illinois USA BRE Group

In recent years, the commercial real estate industry has grown and refined its focus on ESG and the impact of the climate crisis across the sector — and rightfully so Especially in light of increased regulatory and legislative guidelines — including both federal initiatives, like recent SEC reporting guidelines, and various local mandates, such as New York City’s Local Law 97 — the business case for sustainable asset improvements is stronger than ever, while environmental concerns surrounding the climate crisis remain a primary global risk.

Kicking off the new year, BREEAM will continue leveraging its position as a leader in the global sustainable movement to promote thoughtful, effective ESG strategies and sustainable improvements throughout the real estate sector, across all property types and geographic regions. In doing so, we will work to build on both the decades of experience accumulated since the platform’s 1990 launch, as well as the significant momentum we’ve seen throughout the past year.

In 2022, the number of BREEAM-certified assets in the U.S. skyrocketed, seeing growth of nearly 160% in total certificates issued year-over-year. And of the hundreds of new assets certified by BREEAM this year, several marked milestone achievements. Five states and one district —  Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Ohio, Oregon and Washington, D.C. —  welcomed their first-ever BREEAM-certified asset, extending BREEAM’s U.S. footprint to a total of 27 states. Further, 113 new communities saw the addition of a BREEAM-certified asset in 2022.


BREEAM USA - USA Map of States with Certified Assets
BREEAM USA – USA Map of States with Certified Assets


The platform continued to provide its sustainable benchmarking and certification to assets across the real estate spectrum over the course of the year, including office, industrial, retail, and multifamily facilities, as well as a number of new asset types which achieved certification in 2022 — such as the first-ever BREEAM-certified hotel and data center in the U.S.

Further, BREEAM’s commitment to furthering ESG cogency and prowess in the commercial real estate sector continues to go beyond its vital certification standards and processes; through BREEAM, commercial real estate professionals gain access to a variety of educational and action-oriented resources, including BREEAM’s ESG Webinar Series. This virtual programming features expert panels focused on timely discussions around several top-of-mind sustainability themes for the industry, spanning various asset classes and components of ESG. Webinars hosted in 2022 zeroed in on key topics such as Data Centers and Sustainability, CRREM and the Decarbonization of the Built Environment, Opportunities and Challenges for Advancing Sustainability in Industrial Assets, Sustainable Multifamily Assets: Benchmarking and Reporting on the E and S in ESG and Opportunities and Challenges for Advancing Sustainability Among Retail Assets.

“Entering into the new year, the business case for using a science-backed standard to measure and improve sustainability performance at the asset level is stronger than ever before, garnering ever-increasing support from all stakeholders. BREEAM offers invaluable tools and resources as we aid owners and operators’ ESG efforts and business risk management efforts, and we’re proud to share that we have had a truly banner year in the U.S.,”

said Breana Wheeler, U.S. Director of Operations at BRE.

Looking at the 2023 year ahead, BREEAM is eager to build on the previous year’s successes and momentum, working hand-in-hand with respected industry partners to advance ESG and sustainability efforts across the U.S. real estate sector.

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