Climate Action with the DGNB

How the built environment can help achieve our climate action goals

Climate action has been one of the DGNB's central objectives since its founding. In 2015, the Paris Agreement agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius. The sixth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also makes it clear once again that our actions in the coming decades are crucial. For "global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C will be exceeded in the course of the 21st century unless drastic reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions take place in the coming decades" (IPCC 2022). In order to stay below 1.5 degrees of global warming, global greenhouse gas emissions must start to decrease by 2025 at the latest and be reduced by 43 percent by 2030. The two-degree path also foresees a peak in greenhouse gas emissions in 2025. As a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, actors in the construction and real estate sector also have an obligation to take actions that are in line with climate targets.

In the awareness that existing laws will not adequately solve the problems, however, the only way left at this point is to do more voluntarily. This is precisely the framework in which the DGNB has been working since 2007. We are actively working to ensure that buildings are planned, constructed and operated in a way that actively contributes to climate action.

In order to implement the necessary, systematic transformation of our decisions and actions on a broad scale, the DGNB has initiated a large number of other activities related to consistent climate action. They all show: The time for waiting is long over! We can and must finally start discussing climate action not only theoretically, but take it seriously and approach it pragmatically.

Get going: putting climate action into practice


Toolbox "Carbon Neutral Building"

Information, recommendations for action and instruments to systematically achieve carbon neutrality in buildings.

DGNB Report Wegweiser

Guide to Climate Positive Building Stock

Guide for the holistic transformation of our building stock towards carbon neutrality - with key measures for all industry stakeholders.

Publications on the topic

Publication|pdf|English|1 MB

Framework for carbon neutral buildings and sites

Publication: 13.08.2020
In the Framework, the DGNB has compiled its definition of carbon neutrality as well as the corresponding explanations regarding procedures. The aim is to create clarity on the market and to educate all stakeholders with regard to effective optimisation approaches for reducing the CO2 emissions of their properties. Among other things, the Framework describes the rules for CO2 accounting of buildings and sites. It also serves as a basis for developing building-specific climate action strategies. Additionally, requirements and possibilities for CO2 reporting and quality assurance are presented.
Image File|pdf|English|7 MB

Climate positive: now!

Publication: 30.03.2020
The publication "Climate positive: now!" shows how every building can make a contribution to climate protection and offers assistance in the form of pragmatic and practical implementation. It provides more detailed background information on why the construction and real estate sector plays a central role in climate protection and why a paradigm shift is needed in the way we treat our buildings. In addition, areas of action are named that have a significant influence on making buildings climate-neutral.
Publication|pdf|English|3 MB

Building for a better world

Publication: 16.02.2021
The publication "Building for a better world" shows how buildings can contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It introduces the reader to the topic of sustainable development and highlights that up to 15 SDGs are addressed through sustainable construction. Using the example of erecting new buildings, using and operating buildings and developing districts, the report shows that the DGNB certification system can be used as a planning tool to translate the SDGs into real projects. Sustainable development thus becomes tangible.

Your Contacts

Dr. Anna Braune

Director Research and Development

Miriam Laudien

Project Manager Research Projects