News release

Decarbonizing the built environment is critical for reaching net-zero emissions

As governments and companies meet at COP26, JLL is taking action with key commitments and tools to enable companies to reach net-zero emissions

November 02, 2021

Eleanor Parry

Communications Manager, JLL
+44 7719 004580

CHICAGO, November 2, 2021 – As the global economy races to decarbonize, JLL is turning climate talk into action. The built environment is an integral part of reaching net zero as it is currently responsible for close to 40% of carbon emissions. JLL is leading by example with three key commitments:

JLL partners with WEF to launch Green Building Principles

On October 26, The World Economic Forum (WEF) released the Green Building Principles: The Action Plan for Net-Zero Carbon recommending a set of principles to help companies deliver net-zero emissions. Developed in conjunction with JLL and WEF’s Real Estate CEO community, the principles offer clear steps for net-zero carbon buildings and encourage companies to adopt a pledge to reduce building-related emissions by 50% by 2030 and net-zero carbon real estate portfolios by no later than 2050. In conjunction with the announcement, JLL is hosting a webinar to discuss the principles at COP26 on November 11 with Bloomberg Green, Dutch real estate developer EDGE and Canadian real estate company Ivanhoe Cambridge.

“The pandemic has underscored the need for action on climate, and buildings provide the perfect opportunity to address a large share of global emissions,” said Christian Ulbrich, Global Chief Executive Officer and President, JLL. “We can and must work to deliver net-zero carbon buildings and the companies that do so first will lead the sector.”

JLL’s transition to net-zero emissions

On October 28, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) launched the world's first science-based Net-Zero Standard for businesses. This is the first ever science-based certification of companies' net-zero targets, offering companies the opportunity to decarbonize at the scale and pace required to reach net zero by 2050. JLL is among a handful of global companies across all sectors with a net-zero strategy to be certified to this new global Net-Zero Standard.

Going beyond the criteria of the Standard, JLL has committed to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain by 2040. Achieving this will require JLL collaborate with clients, suppliers and stakeholders on a journey towards a net-zero future based on the best climate science. JLL’s strategy is outlined in Transition to Net-Zero.

Race to Zero campaign exceeds targets for built environment

JLL recognizes creating a more sustainable economy can’t be done alone and is actively pursuing collaborations with clients and organizations to drive toward a global net-zero economy. As a member of the High-Level Climate Champions Team, JLL plays a key role in the UN-backed Race to Zero, a commitment to half emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. The group has exceeded targets to recruit the ecosystem of built environment stakeholders to sign on to decarbonize and now boasts $1.2 trillion real estate assets under management as part of the Race to Zero campaign.

Promoting climate action for the built environment at COP26

Action has never been timelier with COP26 fast approaching, providing a forum to discuss the pressing issues at the forefront of the global challenge to fight climate change. Together with world leaders, CEOs and non-governmental organizations, JLL will be engaged in conversations around financing sustainable development and accelerating the decarbonizing of the global economy, especially the built environment. The Built Environment Day at COP26 is November 11 and JLL is a co-lead as part of the UN Climate Champions team.

“For JLL, we recognize we cannot get there on our own and are eager to leverage the global platform at COP26 to help shape a roadmap for companies that puts the built environment at the forefront,” said Guy Grainger, Global Head of Sustainability Services and ESG, JLL. “We are committed to going beyond words, to instead promote tangible actions.” 

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.6 billion in 2020, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 92,000 as of June 30, 2021. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit