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The science behind your portfolio emissions

Emission Factors


Emission Factors at a glance

Emission factors are coefficients that describe the rate at which a given activity releases greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. The amount of greenhouse gases released per unit will vary based on the resource type – most often electric energy, waste, district heating and cooling. For example, generating 1 kWh of energy from the public grid in Germany results in 0.526 kg of CO2 emissions- the most common greenhouse gas and the “common denominator” used to standardize various types of emissions factors. These factors vary by resource type, country, and year. As technological advancements in the way we generate energy contribute to a slow but steady reduction in carbon emissions, most emissions factors will trend down over time.

meaningful change

Real estate assets are among the biggest contributors to carbon emissions. According to the European Climate Foundation, around 75% of existing buildings in Europe will still be in use by 2050, but only a tiny fraction of them currently meet top energy efficiency levels.

Asset owners need to thoroughly understand how their buildings are performing today to plan what they must do to meet the Paris Agreement commitment to limit the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, or to aim for 1.5°C.

knowledge base

The Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor (CRREM) Risk Assessment Tool provides vital information on long-term decarbonization targets and how they apply to residential and commercial buildings.

We use real building emission data from government, market and academic sources to calculate our emission factors for energy, waste, water, electricity, district heating and other relevant sources. Our sustainability experts have done this for each country and asset type individually and year over year through 2050.

BuildingMinds shares this knowledge publicly, making it available across the real estate industry. Navigate the table below to find out what emission factors apply to different resource types. Click on the relevant country, then explore the different emission factors by year.

Supported countries -
for emission factors

Your country is not on the list? Send request.


What are emissions - technically?

"Emission factors" are the amount of CO2 released per unit of a resource. For instance, generating 1 kWh of energy from the public grid in Germany results in 0.526 kg of CO2 emissions. Emission factors vary by resource, country and year, as technological advancements contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions during the generation of resources.

From science
to action

BuildingMinds provides a scientific basis for practical actions by asset managers. For example, we can identify which buildings in which country are underperforming in terms of their energy use or emissions, and then calculate the gap to return to the CRREM pathway year-on-year to meet relevant climate targets. Using our in-depth models for stranding risk, carbon pricing scenarios and AI-driven retrofit modeling, we can devise a clear, personalized path to reducing your carbon impact.

Transparency is key to understand the impact of real estate on climate change and the growing transitional climate risks that buildings are exposed to. At BuildingMinds, emission factors are aligned with the CRREM methodology, enhancing our scientific approach and helping the real estate community to take practical actions.

Dr. Jens Circle Crop
Dr. Jens Hirsch
Chief Scientific Officer

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