A review of the impact of green building certification on the cash flows and values of commercial properties

Niina Leskinen*, Jussi Vimpari, Seppo Junnila

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
303 Downloads (Pure)


This study aims to review empirical research concerning the impact of green certificates on property cash flows and values, particularly from professional property investors' perspective. The study uses discounted cash flows (DCF), a widely used property valuation method in income-generating properties, as a methodological framework. In this study, over 70 peer-reviewed studies were identified, categorized, and analyzed in the DCF framework. The reviewed studies indicated that certificates might increase the rental income and decrease the operating expenses, vacancy, and risks of a property. Together with the brand value of certificates, these enhancements should lead to an increase in property value. The number of studies has grown rapidly during the 2010s. Lately, studies have developed from asset-level to portfolio-level examinations. Although the reviewed studies found certification to be beneficial, the range of reported benefits was wide, and over half of the studies concentrated on U.S. commercial real estate markets, with a strong focus on LEED and ENERGY STAR certificates. From a property valuation perspective, applying these results to other markets and certificates might be challenging. Property values that fully reflect the environmental performance of properties would be a key to motivate mainstream investors to adopt sustainable property features.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2729
Number of pages22
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • Cash flow
  • Energy performance certificate
  • Green building premium
  • Green certificates
  • Property investment
  • Property valuation
  • Property value
  • Real estate
  • Review
  • Sustainability


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