BREEAM provides a holistic, balanced, and accessible way to assess the sustainability of a building. It uses a flexible approach which considers energy, carbon, health & wellbeing, water, materials, waste and more. It has been shown to create healthy, comfortable, high-performing buildings which meet the needs of building owners, occupants, and investors by achieving higher building values and incomes.

This document provides a mapping of the EU Taxonomy requirements that have been published to date onto BREEAM building schemes. This indicates the extent to which current BREEAM schemes align with the Taxonomy and so can be used to demonstrate compliance. We are committed to increasing the alignment of BREEAM schemes with current and future EU Taxonomy requirements.

For those interested in finding comprehensive criteria for sustainable investments and green bonds, BREEAM buildings are the solution as it assesses a much wider range of sustainability issues compared to the EU Taxonomy and with third-party verification, you can be sure your building meets the claims, and the credibility needed for good investments.

Introducing the EU Taxonomy

The EU Taxonomy is a clear and detailed classification system used to define environmentally sustainable economic activities.

comprising six objectives, known as Annexes, companies need to demonstrate that they make a substantial contribution to achieving

one objective whilst meeting “do no significant harm” criteria for the other five objectives.

The Taxonomy Regulation has six environmental objectives:

Climate change mitigation

Climate change adaptation

The sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources

The transition to a circular economy

Pollution prevention and control

The protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems

To date the first two Annexes have been published and relate to the Climate Change Mitigation and Climate Change Adaptation objectives. The annex on Circularity, is pending final approval from the European Commission.

The BREEAM mapping is focussed into the three economic activities under chapter 7 “Construction and Real-Estate Activities”:

- Construction of new buildings - Renovation of existing buildings - Acquisition and ownership of buildings

Which relate to the BREEAM New Construction, BREEAM Refurbishment and Fit Out and BREEAM In Use, schemes respectively.

Who and Why:  Driving sustainable development, reporting, benchmarking etc.

New regulation is a key driver of change, in this case European regulation. Companies based in Europe, or operating a European legal entity with more than 500 employees, will need to report on EU Taxonomy compliance (to the European Commission). The building level information captured through the BREEAM assessment process can feed into a company’s overall Taxonomy compliance which is based on the percentage of their capital expenditure, operational expenditure and turnover which aligns with the detailed criteria required to be reported on in the first instance, by the end of the year (2022).

BREEAM’s relationship with the EU Taxonomy