To operate successfully, multinational companies are no longer just about profits; society demands they are transparent, ethical and, above all, responsible. Sustainability is a key consideration for many of these companies, not just because of their corporate responsibility remit, but also because making buildings more efficient makes for better business.

Multinationals’ real estate portfolios often count thousands of assets. To yield maximum results, it is imperative that the management and measurement of these buildings are consistent — especially when, depending on the measurement method used in various parts of the world, a property’s floor area can deviate by as much as 24%1.

Here’s where the International Property Measurement Standard (IPMS), in conjunction with existing energy measurement metrics, can deliver a portfolio’s full potential. After all, how can international companies consistently measure their buildings’ energy efficiency if they don’t use comparable measures?

Read more: Why measurable information is pivotal to accelerating energy-efficiency

LEEDing by example — delivering on a global promise

Nearly all (96%) of Fortune 200 companies use Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)2, a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage market transformation towards sustainable design. A leading proponent for the certification is coffee-giant Starbucks, who, significantly, make up 20% of LEED-certified retail projects globally3.

Starbucks recently announced plans to open their newest “Roastery” in Milan, Italy — its first in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, and the fifth globally4. It’s Seattle Roastery and Tasting Room achieved the highest level of LEED certification — Platinum — in 20155, so the bar has been set high for their premises’ environmental design and construction. However, as Starbucks and other comparable companies continue to diversify their portfolios into emerging global markets, the work of RICS and coalition partners, in developing global benchmarks across real estate, land, ethics and construction, ensure that these portfolios are more transparent, consistent and comparable across locations.

Confidence through consistency

In Australia, the New South Wales Government recently endorsed the need for the IPMS to drive the global roll-out of the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) energy efficiency rating system. NABERS addressed a major barrier to creating an international benchmark for building sustainability performance.

The International Property Measurement Standard will ensure that property assets are measured in a consistent way, creating a more transparent marketplace, greater public trust, stronger investor confidence, and increased market stability.

As a common property measurement standard, IPMS plays an integral part in the global movement to seek consistent, transparent and accurate measures through globally agreed benchmarks. It is one of many denominators that can be used to provide comparable data that can inform measurements, such as energy efficiency.

International companies that aspire to encourage and influence the future of sustainable business through these types of rating systems should do so with the confidence that their sustainable buildings are backed by comparable, accurate and consistent data that not only realises global sustainability goals but also de-risks their portfolios across the world.

The World Built Environment Forum (WBEF)

This Forum creates and sets the standard for dialogue and collaboration among professionals, clients, policy makers and regulators with the aim of driving up standards so that our profession and our industry show responsible leadership in enabling sustainable growth.

Find out more about the WBEF, access videos and get details of upcoming events.


  1. International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS)
  2. New Survey Shows Top Companies Prioritize Global Green Building Rating System LEED
  3. Starbucks Opens 1,000th LEED-Certified Store
  4. Starbucks Roastery Coming to Milan in 2018
  5. Starbucks Roastery Earns LEED Platinum Certification

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