Directing finance flows towards sustainable buildings and construction and real estate projects is key for accelerating market transformation

Sustainable finance is one of our core thematic areas. In our work we are particularly focusing on translating the EU Taxonomy and the concept of ESG into a sectoral stakeholder context and on providing a market perspective to policy makers.

We do this by undertaking dedicated research and by facilitating cross-industry stakeholder dialogue and knowledge transfer through pan-European working groups.

Together with participating Green Building Councils and groups of market participants from across Europe we have tested the EU Taxonomy criteria for climate change mitigation and the transition to a circular economy on real buildings or projects.

Study objectives:

Through practical application of the Taxonomy criteria to real buildings or projects the studies tested the strength of the criteria in delivering the envisaged impacts of the Taxonomy and identified costs and benefits of the implementation of related processes for both the European Commission and to the financial market participants alike.

Study participants gained invaluable insights not only regarding data quality and verification in relation to their respective portfolios but also regarding potential reviews of internal processes and capacity building programmes.

Download the studies below:

Via CPEA member organisations we offer a verification service for the real estate industry to check alignment with the EU Taxonomy criteria for New construction, Renovation and Acquisition and Ownership – it is based on currently applicable Taxonomy criteria but also includes employment standards, social standards and good governance.

The new validation and reporting format primarily addresses financial market stakeholders, property developers and the owners of individual properties or entire portfolios. It serves for more transparency and risk minimisation, especially during the buying and selling process. In addition to requiring financial stakeholders to disclose any project investments they are involved in, in future, projects that comply with taxonomy criteria are expected to receive better funding terms. In this regard, the new ESG verification offered by CPEA will serve as independent proof of alignment.

Audits can be carried out concurrently or independently during DGNB certification. In the first step, the CPEA service applies to the taxonomy objective relating to climate change mitigation and associated ‘do no significant harm’ criteria, as well as the S and G criteria, which are primarily targeted at companies themselves.

Stakeholders using the CPEA verification service not only receive proof of alignment with the Taxonomy criteria, but also reports capturing the detailed results of assessments, thus providing important pointers regarding areas that may still require specific improvement.

The questionnaires that form part of the verification process have already been tested in practice, as they were already used in modified form in the course of an international study on the applicability and market readiness of the Taxonomy criteria – with consistently positive feedback from the builders, project developers and banks involved in the study.

Additionally, the verification service represents a genuine European offer for companies from the real estate and financial sectors through cooperation with partner organisations from Spain, Austria, Germany and Denmark. It can be used by projects across Europe. For the audit, it is assigned to the different CPEA partners depending on the project’s location.

Projects can be submitted by (a) licenced DGNB ESG-Managers or DGNB Auditors and (b) for international projects also by licenced international DGNB Consultants or international DGNB Auditors.

First, an individual project, several projects or a portfolio are registered via the website of the assigned CPEA partner. The applicant then receives the documents for verification by email. In addition to the questionnaires matching the project, the applicant also receives guidance detailing the exact documentation requirements for the verification. Please note that these requirements will be adjusted in the event of future changes of the Taxonomy criteria by the EU, particularly in the areas of “Social” and “Governance”.

The project-specific documents are submitted by email to the assigned CPEA partner. The corresponding organisation then examines the documents, evaluates the project with regard to the fulfilment of the EU taxonomy criteria and subsequently prepares a report. This is made available to the applicant by e-mail as official proof.

If a project is already registered for DGNB certification with one of CPEA’s partner organisations, the process slightly differs. The scope of the documents to be submitted for ESG verification is significantly reduced as the DGNB certification criteria already cover a large number of the requirements of the EU Taxonomy that need to be documented.

Register your projects with:

DGNB – Contact: Seema Issar,

ÖGNI – Contact: Florian Wehrberger,

ESG is defined and practised differently across Europe and a common European approach is just emerging.

Against this background, the CPEA ESG Working Group facilitated a networking platform for ESG related topics at European level with more than 40 participating organisations from 10 European countries, with representation from finance and investment, real estate development, asset management, real estate consultancy and sustainability certification as well as from civil society organisations, professional bodies and industry associations.

Working Group focus:

  • Translating and defining ESG criteria and processes for the construction and real estate sector, and,
  • Fostering a deeper understanding of linkages between individual ESG dimensions (Environment, Social, Governance)

Market Insights Report: ESG adoption and implementation in EU construction and real estate

In recent years, ESG has increasingly gained traction in construction and real estate. At the same time, markets have witnessed an equally growing number of ESG initiatives.

As a result of its work, the CPEA ESG Working Group’s Market Insights report provides a snapshot of the current state of play within the construction and the real estate industry with regard to ESG strategy development, implementation and disclosures, covering drivers, risks and challenges and potential solutions. A specific focus has been placed on the need for full ESG integration versus the predominantly one-dimensional approaches to ESG currently pursued by the majority of market participants.

Download the report below:

CPEA Founding Members

Alliance Members