Finance and Resilience

Resilience is emerging as a critical issue for commercial buildings, particularly in light of recent disruptions from climate and weather events. Owners and operators of commercial properties are placing greater emphasis on improving the resilience of their assets and mitigating risk from natural disasters and other stressors. At the same time, financial markets are beginning to think more seriously about how to manage systemic resilience risk in portfolios of real estate assets.

Research shows that resilience and financial performance are closely linked. Investors, mortgage lenders, and insurers are increasingly concluding that climate and resilience risk can have a meaningful impact on financial returns and that managing this risk is a critical part of fiduciary duty. Building owners are putting resilience plans in place to preserve the value of their properties, protect occupants, and attract investment. However, resilience is a fluid topic, and many building owners are unsure where to start and what tools are available to help.

Through Better Buildings, the Department of Energy brought together a roundtable of Better Buildings partners, allies and stakeholders to foster clarity, collaboration, and guidance on emerging resilience issues and how they affect energy and financial performance in buildings. The main outcome of this work is the Resilience Roadmap below—a set of resources and case studies designed to help commercial building owners develop a plan for measuring, managing, and mitigating resilience risk.

A Resilience Roadmap for Commercial Buildings

Each resource in the roadmap discusses a key issue in measuring, managing, and mitigating resilience risk. You can start at the beginning and continue on to the fifth and final resource or browse at your discretion.


1. Building the Financial Business Case for Resilience

This fact sheet introduces the Resilience Roadmap and reviews key concepts including the challenges of resilience, understanding and measuring risk, and how to quantify and articulate the financial business case for resilience improvements.




2. Managing Insurance Cost and Business Risk

This fact sheet discusses the role that the insurance industry plays in mitigating resilience risk and offers best practices for building owners to work effectively with insurers.




3. Financing and Implementing Resilience Projects

This fact sheet discusses implementing resilience improvements across a commercial building portfolio and evaluating financing options that can help overcome upfront costs and other common barriers to resilience.




4. Benchmarking and Disclosing Resilience Performance

This fact sheet provides an overview of common trends and barriers related to disclosure of climate and resilience performance. It reviews how each of the major reporting frameworks treats resilience, compares these frameworks against each other, and provides insight on where to begin.




5. Creating a Resilience Risk Management Plan

This fact sheet pulls together the content from the Resilience Roadmap into actionable planning steps in an outline format.


Additional Finance and Resilience Resources

Finance + Resilience Initiative Part 1: Building the Financial Business Case for Resilience
Part 1 of this 2-week mini-series highlighted how commercial building owners can build the financial case for resilience, best practices for measuring financial risk, and strategies for managing insurance cost and business risk.

Finance + Resilience Initiative Part 2: Taking Action to Improve Resilience & Disclose Performance
Part 2 of this 2-week mini-series focused on different mechanisms for financing resilience projects, reporting frameworks for disclosing resilience performance, and pulling everything into a resilience risk management plan.