News release

JLL identifies three key priorities for the real estate sector in achieving a sustainable and just recovery

Ensuring climate resilience and the transition to net zero carbon, delivering healthy buildings and creating a fair society are all essential

03 September 2020

In its latest thought leadership publication, “Reimagining real estate: Achieving a sustainable and just recovery”, leading adviser JLL has outlined three priorities for the real estate sector as we adjust to the new world and reimagine the decade ahead. 

The priorities are: 1) ensuring climate resilience and accelerating the net zero carbon transition; 2) delivering healthy buildings and places; and 3) creating a fair and inclusive society.  JLL believes that these three priorities are critical to transforming real estate and delivering long-term resilience for the sector. 


JLL highlighted that against the complex backdrop of Covid-19 there has been some cause for optimism, including a continued commitment to sustainability within the real estate sector. According to a survey undertaken by the BPF, supported by JLL, over 70% of respondents said that the delivery of sustainability initiatives has continued to be ‘business as usual’ and in some cases has even increased over the last five months. Furthermore, over 35% of the respondents said that they plan to accelerate activity and investment in sustainability as we emerge out of the pandemic. 

Sophie Walker, UK head of sustainability at JLL, said: “When faced with adversity, human nature often delivers amazing outcomes. In 2020 we have witnessed both the fragility of our systems and the incredible warmth of community spirit. With the benefit of hindsight and the experience of this generation living through a global crisis, we must use this time to learn lessons and rebuild our businesses and communities for the sustainable, just society we all want.” 

As we emerge from the crisis, JLL urged all businesses in the real estate sector to align their strategies with the following priorities: 

1. Ensuring climate resilience and accelerating the net zero carbon transition – With the 2020s already predicted to be the decade of net zero carbon delivery, Covid-19 has heightened our collective understanding of risk and the need for rapid action. JLL now considers that businesses need to adopt a total systems approach to net zero carbon; prioritise investment into net zero carbon technology solutions; manage climate risk in underwriting and investing; and finally recognise the social risks from climate change and the absolute necessity of delivering a ‘socially just transition’. 

2. Enabling healthy people and environments – As Covid-19 poses fundamental questions about the way we live and work, companies are prioritising their most valuable asset – their people – more than ever. This renewed focus on people’s health and wellbeing should include: the delivery of site level actions to enhance wellbeing; the adoption of an evidence-based approach to wellbeing; prioritisation of investment into technology solutions to deliver well-being performance and a focus on local community well-being. 

3. Creating a fair, inclusive and resilient society - Covid-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities and demands for a fair, inclusive and resilient society are rightly intensifying. Organisations must respond meaningfully and transparently and focus on: leading with social purpose; developing a deep understanding of social risks and opportunities; investing to drive impact; and ensuring a genuine commitment to equality and inclusion. 

Chris Ireland, JLL UK CEO, concluded: “Real estate has a real impact on our everyday lives and will play an even more fundamental role as we recover and adjust to the ‘new normal’. Buildings are where people live, work, shop, eat, socialise and heal. The long lockdown period has demonstrated how much we rely on a healthy and safe home, a supportive community, robust hospitals, and efficient logistics hubs to supply food and goods. The ‘new normal’ must be better, more resilient, more connected and led and supported by strong and committed leadership. In this report, we explore a vision for a sustainable and just world. And we look at the role of the property sector in turning this vision to reality.” 

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $18.0 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 94,000 as of March 31, 2020. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit