Majority of Asia Pacific Real Estate Companies and Investment Funds Aim To Achieve Net Zero by 2050: CBRE Survey

Nearly Two-Thirds of the Respondents Expect At Least 80% of Their Portfolios To Be Green-Certified in Next Three Years
Mar 13, 2024 3:45 PM ET
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/3BL/ - The role of Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO*) is rapidly gaining prominence among the Asia Pacific region as investors display increased appetite for sustainable portfolios, according to CBRE’s Asia Pacific Real Estate Chief Sustainability Officer Survey.

In collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), CBRE conducted a survey among real estate companies and investment funds in Asia Pacific to understand how they perceive the role of CSO, their Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) strategies and challenges, and prospect for achieving net zero.

About half of surveyed asset owners named 2050 as their target to achieve net zero, largely aligning with the targets set by their government. However, many multinational occupiers are aiming to reach net zero by 2030. The discrepancy is primarily because building materials and construction activity are carbon-intensive for asset owners, particularly developers, while service sector tenants are asset-light and mainly focusing on operational emissions.

“Asset owners have to be aware of the much more aggressive net zero target among occupiers. Both parties must collaborate and drive a common sustainability agenda,” said Ada Choi, Head of Occupier Research, Asia Pacific, for CBRE. “We expect projects that could result in cost and energy savings will be prioritised, while investors are advised to increase the use of green finance.”

The survey reveals that about half of the CSO roles in Asia Pacific were created within the past three years, with 60% of them as full-time positions. With new regulations requiring sustainability disclosures, the key responsibility of CSOs is to conduct ESG monitoring and reporting, and to implement related projects. CSOs are also responsible for fostering cultural change within the company to achieve sustainability goals.

“The path to decarbonization involves significant regulatory change and policy support,” said David Fogarty, Head of ESG Consulting Services, Singapore & Southeast Asia, for CBRE. “In view of a complex sustainability landscape, it is crucial for occupiers and investors to develop a strategic blueprint to navigate evolving regulations and achieve progress on decarbonization and net zero goals.”

To read the full report, click here.

* Chief Sustainability Officer, or Head of ESG, is an executive tasked with overseeing ESG / sustainability initiatives. These positions are playing a crucial part in guiding companies towards achieving carbon neutrality and implementing sustainable practices.


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About the U.S. Green Building Council

USGBC is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC’s mission is “to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.”

USGBC builds on this vision through the development and improvement of the LEED rating system, the LEED professional credentials, robust educational offerings, an international network of local community leaders and USGBC member organizations, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and other USGBC initiatives, as well as through advocacy and outreach that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information:

About CBRE Group, Inc.  
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Dallas, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2023 revenue). The company has more than 130,000 employees (including Turner & Townsend employees) serving clients in more than 100 countries. CBRE serves a diverse range of clients with an integrated suite of services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at

International WELL Building Institute  
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is a public benefit corporation and the world’s leading organization focused on deploying people-first places to advance a global culture of health. IWBI mobilizes its community through the administration of the WELL Building Standard (WELL) and WELL ratings and certifications, management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources and advocacy for policies that promote health and well-being everywhere. More information on WELL can be found here.