Climate Neutral Buildings and Sustainable Real Estate Finance


Based on the finding that almost 40% of CO2 emissions in the EU are attributable to buildings - especially existing buildings - the CREATE project deals with the question in what way financial markets can contribute to decarbonising the building sector in the sense of the Paris climate goal. A particular focus is on innovative financial and insurance products in the areas of sustainable finance and sustainable insurance, which ideally achieve a high transformative impact.  In this context, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the will also be taken into account.

Research questions

1. what are the specific needs and interests of building owners who are at the same time customers of financial services?

2. which financial and insurance products fit their interests and needs and how can the acceptance of these products be increased?

3. how should these products be designed to create incentives for the sustainability/energy efficiency-oriented refurbishment of existing buildings? Or: How should financial instruments best be designed and used so that they have the greatest possible impact on sustainability goals and at the same time are as attractive as possible for potential investors?

4. how to maximise the impact of financial instruments in terms of reducing CO2 emissions? How can financial products be used to achieve the greatest possible transformative impact for climate protection?

5. how can better transparency be achieved with regards to the carbon footprint of buildings, and how and with which methods can the relevant data be collected, and how can better alignment with the taxonomy of the EU Action Plan be achieved?

Scientific approach and methods

The project is based on the research design of transdisciplinary real laboratories (living labs) and aims, among other things, at the demand-oriented development of innovative financial and insurance products in interactive exchange with the relevant stakeholder groups by applying the design thinking methodology. The project consists of five interlinked work packages: (1) development of the conceptual reference framework, (2) acceptance of sustainable financial products by relevant financial market actors, (3) development of impact-oriented financial services and products, (4) data availability, quality, analysis and evaluation, (5) project and transfer management.

Targeted results

The overall objective is to contribute to the decarbonisation of the real economy and society with focus on real estate by redirecting capital flows through innovative sustainable finance and sustainable insurance products.

ManagementProf. Dr. Tobias Popović
  • Verein für Umweltmanagement und Nachhaltigkeit in Finanzinstituten (VfU)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (DGNB)
  • Ernst & Young GmbH (associated)
  • Vereinigung Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse e.V. - Stuttgart Financial (associated)
  • Greensurance Stiftung für Mensch und Umwelt gGmbH
Grant No.01LA2206A
FundingFederal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Strategy "Research for Sustainability" (FONA)

Call for proposalKlimaschutz und Finanzwirtschaft (KlimFi)



Name & Position E-Mail & Telephone
Professor / Ethikbeauftragter der HFT Stuttgart+49 711 8926 2962 L 109
Transformations- und Innovationsmanager+49 711 8926 2339 7/007
Expertin für Sustainable Finance
Geschäftsführung Forschungsmanagement +49 711 8926 2973 7/035