Energy efficiency has been a long-standing focus for BGO, a leading global real estate investment advisor and provider of real estate management. BGO is pursuing net-zero targets as a business imperative and in recognition of the impact real estate has on climate change, including direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from building heating, cooling and water use.

In 2021, BGO joined the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative (NZAM)1 and committed to supporting investing aligned with net-zero GHG emissions by no later than 2050 across its managed real estate portfolio. To accomplish its net-zero objective, BGO is creating a Global Net Zero Framework (the “Framework”), which draws on its environmental, social and governance experience and stewardship in commercial real estate. Sun Life’s real estate portfolio managed by BGO is helping set the stage for some of BGO’s new broad-based sustainability strategies under the Framework.

In 2022, BGO began developing net-zero transition plans for the largest emitting assets in Sun Life’s portfolio, including two office towers in Toronto and 11 other properties across Canada. In addition, BGO expects to complete property-level net-zero assessments for most of Sun Life’s North American portfolio over the next few years. Energy efficiency measures will be aligned with specific targets for energy and GHG emissions intensity reductions. 

Sun Life’s future real estate developments are also expected to be developed as ‘Net-Zero Ready’. This approach to development includes an enhanced application of components to a building, which are used during its initial construction to enable future carbon reductions. Measures may include, for example, a combination of triple pane windows, highly insulated walls, heat recovery systems, fit-outs for renewable energy sources and a low-carbon heating or cooling source.

As a leader in sustainable real estate investing for more than a decade, BGO is well-positioned to achieve strong sustainability outcomes, drawing sound asset management and property management strategies to reduce the environmental footprint of Sun Life’s real estate portfolio.

Learn more about Sun Life’s net-zero journey.

Operational net-zero actions for Sun Life’s North American Portfolio

 Net-zero measures completed between June 2021-Dec 2022
Number of energy audits/walkthrough assessments


(19 audits, 2 operational analytics reports, 40 walkthrough assessments)

Number of energy efficiency measures implemented from target setting and from benchmarking data

110 (target setting)

23 (benchmarking)

Projected annual energy and GHG savings from implemented measures (target setting and benchmarking data)

5.6 M ekWh

766.7 MTCo2

Forward-looking statements

This feature story includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. There can be no assurance that any prospective plans described in this feature story will be realized on the terms expressed herein or at all, and all such plans are subject to uncertainties and risks. Our ability to achieve our net-zero GHG emissions goals is based on a number of assumptions and is subject to a number of factors, including the availability of comprehensive and high-quality GHG emissions data, the need for active and continued participation of stakeholders (including enterprises, financial institutions and governmental and non-governmental organizations), the development and deployment of new technologies and industry-specific solutions, international cooperation, and the development of regulations internationally. Other important risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements in this case study are listed in the annual information form of Sun Life Financial Inc. for the year ended December 31, 2022 under the heading "Risk Factors" and other regulatory filings of ours filed or furnished to Canadian and U.S. securities regulators available at and, respectively.

The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative (“NZAM”) is an international group of asset managers committed to supporting the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius; and to supporting investing aligned with net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner. As a signatory to NZAM, BGO has pledged to work in partnership with asset owner Clients on decarbonisation goals, consistent with an ambition to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner across all assets under management.