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Japan and Australia lead Asia Pacific in sustainability, according to JLL’s latest Real Estate Transparency Index

Report reveals growing adoption of environmental performance measures  in the region


SINGAPORE, 28 SEPTEMBER 2016 – Japan has become a leader in sustainable real estate transparency joining France, Australia and the UK in the ‘highly transparent’ group for the first time, according to JLL’s Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Transparency Index.

“Environmental performance considerations are becoming more widely established across Asian markets, but the pace of progress in creating new tools and regulations is still relatively slow,” says Franz Jenowein, director and head of global sustainability research at JLL.

“There are encouraging signs that two cornerstones of environmental performance transparency – minimum energy efficiency standards and green building certification schemes – are available in the majority of key markets. In particular, Japan has made significant strides over the past two years, while Australia continues to maintain its world-leading position in sustainability in real estate.”

Japan’s rise has been realised through the introduction of three new tools over the past two years: a new Building Energy-Efficiency Labelling System (BELS) for the non-residential sector based on primary energy use; the publication of specific guidance for landlords and tenants concerning voluntary green lease clauses; and the introduction of mandatory minimum energy-efficiency design criteria for new non-residential buildings in excess of 2,000 square metres.

These efforts have been reinforced by the Tokyo cap-and-trade programme for large facilities, which includes large office buildings and was introduced by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2010, according to the report.

“Japan’s efforts, formalised through various energy efficiency and green building programmes, have borne fruit. In Asia Pacific, we have seen an increased awareness and adoption of environmental transparency instruments such as energy efficiency standards and market-specific green building certification schemes,” says Dr Megan Walters, head of research, Asia Pacific, JLL. “Market and client demands and government regulations have been critical to the success of sustainability initiatives and we expect these efforts to gather momentum in the foreseeable future.”

Elsewhere in Asia, Malaysia and Taiwan are new entrants into the ‘low transparency’ tier of the index, while Thailand has joined China and South Korea in the ‘semi-transparent’ group. New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong are in the ‘transparent’ tier.

The Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Index analyses 37 markets that represent 97 percent of global direct commercial real estate investment volumes in 2015. The index tracks the following sustainability measures:

  • Carbon reporting
  • Energy consumption benchmarking
  • Financial performance 
  • Green building certification
  • Green lease clauses
  • Minimum energy standards (existing buildings)
  • Minimum energy building standards (new building)


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Please click here​ for an infographic on the future of green building in Asia Pacific

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Notes to Editors

The Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Transparency Index is part of JLL’s ninth Global Real Estate Transparency Index, which covers 109 markets worldwide, and shows continued progress in the transparency of commercial real estate around the world. Two-thirds of markets have registered overall improvement since 2014. Improvement is generally correlated with higher foreign direct investment and corporate occupier activity, as investors and corporations help to accelerate transparency reforms and governments recognise that poor transparency will affect continued inward investment, long-term economic growth prospects and the quality of life of citizens
























About JLL 

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. A Fortune 500 company with annual fee revenue of $5.2 billion and gross revenue of $6.0 billion, JLL has more than 280 corporate offices, operates in more than 80 countries and has a global workforce of more than 60,000. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 4.0 billion square feet, or 372 million square meters, and completed $138 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2015. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $59.1 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

JLL has over 50 years of experience in Asia Pacific, with 34,000 employees operating in 92 offices in 16 countries across the region. The firm won 15 awards at the International Property Awards Asia Pacific in 2016 and was named number one real estate advisor in Asia at the 2015 Euromoney Real Estate Awards.