September 20, 2021

Informed by leading commercial real estate firms and environmental justice principles, a new framework lays out key actions to addressing climate, social equity, and community resilience via better buildings.


Alexandra Laney,; 530-645-2539

WASHINGTON, DC (September 20, 2021)— From flooding to wildfires, extreme weather events are wreaking havoc across the U.S. on an increasingly regular basis, while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight the integral connections between public health and the spaces where people live, work, and play. Transforming how buildings are constructed and operated, however, offers a path to quickly address both crises. Recognizing this, today the Institute for Market Transformation released the BuildUp 2030 Framework for the Transformation of Real Estate to explore how business leaders—real estate owners, operators, tenants, and investors—can lead the way to an economically robust, more socially just, and sustainable future.

“Real estate has long served as a key pillar of American communities and today, the case for improving our nation’s buildings is stronger than ever,” says Lotte Schlegel, executive director of IMT, a national nonprofit that is focused on equitably decarbonizing buildings via innovative public policies and business practices. “Each day, business leaders make decisions about their properties that give them an opportunity to create better buildings, whether it’s adjusting operational practices or deciding how and where to invest in systems upgrades. Our framework explores how these decisions and actions can evolve to not only boost financial performance, but also reduce carbon emissions, improve public health, build community resilience, and create greater opportunities for more people to thrive.”

The BuildUp 2030 Framework for the Transformation of Real Estate comprises 10 principles for action in real estate ranging from measuring environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts and transitioning to resilient, low-carbon practices to improving public health and better supporting communities. It was informed by months of discussion with a coalition of more than 20 real estate professionals representing a variety of building types, sizes, geographies, and ownership models from across the U.S. Participants included representatives from CBRE, Heitman, Kilroy Realty, and more.

 “The business of real estate has a tremendous opportunity to lead a global transition to a regenerative economy and accelerate action on climate and social justice. The question isn’t whether real estate will change going forward, but rather how it will change and who will lead the transformation. The process of creating IMT’s new framework highlighted that many industry leaders are excited about laying a new course for doing business and the future of real estate, and I look forward to the next phase of putting the framework to practice,” says Lindsay Baker, a former Global Head of Sustainability and Impact at WeWork and now CEO of the International Living Future Institute. Ms. Baker participated in the framework’s coalition, helping moderate the discussions and co-draft the report with IMT prior to joining ILFI.

The framework’s 10 principles include a series of potential associated action steps, profiles of companies who are demonstrating leadership, and a sample of resources for others to get started. The full framework is available at


For more than 25 years, the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) has partnered with government, business, and philanthropy to improve the spaces where we live, work, and play. IMT focuses on innovative and pragmatic solutions that fuel greater investment in high-performing, energy-efficient buildings. IMT offers hands-on technical assistance and market research, alongside expertise in policy and program development and deployment and promotion of best practices and knowledge exchange. Our innovations have helped reduce carbon emissions and energy costs across billions of square feet of real estate in major U.S. cities; empowered landlords and tenants to overcome barriers to mutually-beneficial building improvements; and increased overall demand for better buildings. Learn more at

Program Area(s):

Real Estate

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