Feature image credit: Joan Costa.
April 26, 2023 (Barcelona, Spain) — Today, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) Europe announced new tools through the Arc platform to help LEED projects assess and communicate alignment with the European Union (EU) Sustainable Finance Taxonomy.
“Because LEED goals align with the principles of the EU Taxonomy, in particular for the real estate and construction sector, projects can take advantage of LEED certification to demonstrate compliance with the EU Taxonomy,” said Kay Killman, managing director, GBCI. “These new tools will further enable the connection and help projects communicate that alignment, while also helping to meet the objectives of the EU Climate Action Plan and EU Green Deal to ensure Europe becomes a carbon-neutral society by 2050.”
LEED and EU Taxonomy requirements both address strategies for climate change mitigation, including energy efficiency, commissioning, embodied carbon reductions and resilience. As an example, the energy performance metrics referenced in the EU Taxonomy and allowed for use in LEED have a high-level alignment in focusing on source/primary energy use reduction to measure energy performance.
The EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy is a classification system that translates climate and environmental objectives into criteria for specific economic activities for investment purposes. The taxonomy is rapidly emerging as a critical framework to understand and communicate the sustainability of buildings across the European Union and, increasingly, around the world.
LEED certification directly contributes to many important criteria identified in the EU Taxonomy, including energy efficiency, water conservation and life cycle assessment. However, there are some areas where the EU Taxonomy creates new performance metrics and documentation requirements, such as its novel Do No Significant Harm and Minimum Safeguard criteria.
The new EU Taxonomy Alignment Tool supplements LEED certification by providing the ability to document taxonomy-specific criteria for new construction, existing buildings and renovations. The self-assessment tool provides a summary of taxonomy alignment based on three sets of criteria: environmental objectives, Do No Significant Harm requirements and minimum safeguards. Users can submit and manage documentation to support each part of the assessment. The tool provides a one-page summary of alignment complemented by a detailed report.
LEED projects using the alignment tool can earn the new EU Taxonomy pilot credit. This affirms that they have completed the self-assessment and earned a point toward LEED certification.
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About Green Business Certification Inc.
GBCI is the premier organization independently recognizing excellence in green business industry performance and practice globally. Established in 2008, GBCI exclusively administers project certifications and professional credentials and certificates within the framework of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating systems, as well as the PEER standard for power systems, the WELL Building Standard, the Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES), EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies), TRUE certification for zero waste, Investor Confidence Project (ICP) for energy efficiency retrofits and RELi for resilient design.