Aerial view of many buildings with green roof gardens

Real Estate Climate Action: Risk Assessment Resilience, and Net Zero Success

Curious about what to expect when coming to campus? Please visit our Campus Learning page.

Yesteryear’s real estate investment strategies are not suitable for a climate-changed future. From Wall Street to Main Street, the world still needs a giant leap in climate ambition. This program is for leaders across real estate development, both public and private, who are genuinely interested in participating in a collaborative effort to create a resilient future for the communities they serve.

It will cover the full range of real estate and climate action topics, from risk assessment – turning science to action to improve real estate performance, to resilience – solutions and the benefits of being prepared, and net zero – decarbonization tools for market success.

What to Expect

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For real estate professionals, addressing climate change through development yields measurable benefits that aid in financing their properties, including improved health, air quality, and productivity.

This program will demonstrate that there are opportunities for everyone in real estate development to be part of the climate solution by understanding both the context and opportunity of this change and actively seeking to develop climate-friendly policies collaboratively with local agencies.

Participants will learn how to develop proactive solutions that create sustained competitive advantage through three sessions:

Session 1 – Climate Risk Assessment: Turning Science to Action to Improve Real Estate Market Resilience.

Joyce Coffee will teach with Nuin-Tara Key, Director, North America WTWCo to cover:

  • Practical climate science 101: assessing real estate portfolio climate risks and understanding climate mitigation and adaptation.
  • How climate change creates material financial risk for real estate
  • The roles that real estate finance/investment and development play in market (in)stability in climate-changed communities, from mortgage origination to insurance policies and traditional methods of wealth generation.
  • The disproportionate risk that climate change has for under-resourced communities.
  • Physical climate-related disclosures such as the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure
  • Climate finance innovations, including insurance and community development finance institutions

These topics will be reinforced through a case that covers an affordable housing grant program in California and building-level technologies.

Session 2 – Climate Resilience: Adaptation Solutions for Cities and the Benefits of Being Prepared

Joyce Coffee will teach with Katharine Burgess, AICP, Vice President of Land Use and Development, Smart Growth America.

This session will cover climate risk and adaptation as relevant to land use planning and housing development, considering the challenges amidst today’s housing access crisis. Topics covered will include:

  • Land use planning, zoning, and strategies to advance climate adaptation by incentivizing development in locations less susceptible to climate hazards
  • Equity impacts and connectivity between climate impacts and land use policies which have marginalized low-income communities and communities of color
  • Climate risk as relevant to consumer market preference and housing choice
  • The impact of climate risk and adaptation on governance and municipal finance
  • Emerging trends related to climate migration, managed retreat, and city policy
  • Partnership models for climate-adapted housing and development

These concepts will be reinforced through a case on Vision 2100 and “climate-informed” zoning in Norfolk, VA.

Session 3 – Climate Net Zero: Decarbonization Tools for Market Success

Joyce Coffee will teach with Ben Vatterott, Managing Director, Telesto Strategy to cover net zero in real estate and recommended actions for asset managers. Topics covered include:

  • Net zero trends, including an overview of recent commitments, regulations, and investors pushing building operators to lower emissions, and real estate’s unique role in reducing national and global emissions
  • Understanding real estate emissions, including key drivers, benchmarks and performance standards, and abatement strategies; including both existing and emerging technologies
  • The financial case for net zero interventions
  • Opportunities to embed net zero approaches into real estate design, due diligence, and portfolio management
  • Risks to real estate portfolios in the transition from a fossil fuel economy and supporting a just transition

Participants will emerge with a greater understanding of:

  • How to perform a physical climate risk assessment
  • How to bring climate risks into existing investment and planning decisions
  • The connection between climate risks and social equity impacts
  • Emerging trends related to climate migration and managed retreat strategies
  • Net zero trends, drivers, and commitments
  • Real estate emissions and abatement strategies
  • Real estate developers and investors
  • Engineers
  • Architects and planners
  • Building managers and owner/operators
  • Government officials (especially local)
  • Sustainability, Local Government, and Planning professional association members


Headshot of Joyce Coffee

Joyce Coffee

President, Climate Resilience Consulting

Guest Speakers

Headshot of Nuin-Tara Key

Nuin-Tara Key

Director at North America WTWCo

Headshot of Katharine Burgess

Katharine Burgess, AICP

CEO, Calgary Public Library

Headshot of Ben Vatterott

Ben Vatterott

Managing Director at Telesto Strategy

Participant Stories

Headshot of John Silich

John Silich

President and CEO

Real Estate Climate Action: Risk Assessment Resilience, and Net Zero Success

May 1, 3, & 5, 2023 | 11:00am – 1:00pm Eastern

On Campus 
Tuition:  $1,250
AMDP Elective Units: 1

Please sign up above if you would like to be notified when the next session is announced.