Kingspan Launches Inaugural Global Retrofit Index

27 October 2022 Kingspan Group
Global Retrofit Index
As part of our commitment to our vision of a better built environment, today we are launching our inaugural Global Retrofit Index: a landmark report assessing the progress of G20 countries in reducing emissions from existing buildings.
The report shows an urgent need to speed up the refurbishment of buildings in the world’s major economies if 2050 net zero targets to be met and the worst impacts of climate change avoided.
The report, conducted by sustainability advisory firm 3Keel, evaluates the current need for building retrofits, recent progress and relevant policy. The aim is to give countries a better understanding of their progress compared with others, and indicate how much more action is needed to achieve a net zero built environment.
Key findings
The study finds that while many G20 countries have achieved some reduction in building-related emissions, no country is yet achieving the speed and scale of renovation required to achieve 2050 net zero goals.
Data on building policy, building performance and retrofit need (energy usage and emissions from buildings) from 16 of the world’s major developed and emerging economies, representing more than 80% of global GDP, shows that Germany and France top the rankings among G20 nations. However, even these need to move more quickly to refurbish buildings and cut carbon emissions.
Less than 1% of existing buildings in major economies are being given the necessary retrofitting upgrade, through energy efficiency renovations and refurbishment, each year. This is well below the International Energy Agency (IEA) target of 2.5% rate by 2030.[1]
Global Retrofit Index – G20 Countries*
Ranking Country Performance of existing building stock /25 Retrofit performance /25 Retrofit policy /50 Score /100
1 Germany 6.0/25 18.8/25 36.8/50 61.5
2 Netherlands* 8.0/25 20.0/25 28.3/50 56.3
3 France 9.0/25 16.3/25 30.3/50 55.5
4 UK 8.0/25 16.3/25 28.5/50 53.0
5 Croatia 6.0/25 20.0/25 26.0/50 52.0
6 Italy 8.0/25 12.5/25 31.3/50 51.8
7 Australia 11.5/25 7.5/25 13.5/50 32.5
8 Mexico 18.5/25 8.8/25 5.0/50 32.3
=9 Brazil 14.0/25 11.3/25 3.8/50 29.0
=9 Canada 6.0/25 5.0/25 18.0/50 29.0
=9 Republic of Korea 7.0/25 5.0/25 17.0/50 29.0
=12 Japan 8.0/25 7.5/25 13.3/50 29.0
=12 USA 7.0/25 7.5/25 14.3/50 28.8
14 Turkey 9.0/25 0.0/25 17.0/50 26.0
15 Saudi Arabia 6.5/25 12.5/25 4.0/50 23.0
16 China 9.0/25 0.0/25 12.5/50 21.5
- South Africa n/a n/a n/a n/a
- Argentina n/a n/a n/a n/a
- Indonesia n/a n/a n/a n/a
- India n/a n/a n/a n/a
- Russia n/a n/a n/a n/a
* Two EU countries were included in the study due to notable retrofits policy: Netherlands and Croatia
** 3Keel were not able to fully assess G20 members Argentina, India, Russia, South Africa, and Indonesia due to a lack of publicly available information on their building sector and/or retrofit policies.
Global Retrofit Index – G7 Countries
Ranking Country Score /100
1 Germany 61.5
2 France 55.5
3 UK 52.8
4 Italy 51.8
5 Canada 29.0
=6 Japan 28.8
=6 USA 28.8
Working towards best practice
To bring the sector in line with best practice, energy intensity must drop five times faster over the next decade than it did between 2015 and 2020.  This will mean achieving a 50% cut in direct emissions and 60% cut in indirect emissions by 2030.
We hope that the report can be repeated in future, identifying best practice investment and acting as an ongoing call to action for policy, regulation and investment.  
Bianca Wong, Global Head of Sustainability at Kingspan said: “Decarbonising the built environment is a critical issue that must be addressed to help limit the global temperature rise to 1.5⁰C by the end of this century. We need to consume less energy and fewer resources. Rapidly reducing the energy used to heat, cool and light buildings is an essential part of the puzzle and should be one of the planet’s most urgent climate policy goals.
We have the tools, solutions and technologies needed to improve energy performance in buildings. We now need to apply these at scale. We must work together locally and globally to increase the pace of building refurbishments. That means finding innovative models for funding, supporting policy changes, minimising disruption for the public and ensuring high levels of energy savings over the lifetime of the retrofitted buildings.
This isn’t just the problem of world leaders and Governments. The onus is on all of us across the built environment value chain to engage positively and proactively”.
Report author Michael Lord of 3Keel said, “We developed the Global Retrofit Index to benchmark the progress made by different countries in reducing emissions from their building stock. Our findings clearly show that we urgently need to significantly increase the retrofit rate globally and ambitious government action will be vital to support the building and construction sector.
“To achieve the level of reduction needed, the energy performance of existing building stock will need to be significantly improved and deep energy retrofits needed to achieve the deep cut in emissions we must make. In countries with older building stocks, the need for retrofits will be even greater”.
As a global leader in high-performance insulation and building envelope solutions, Kingspan is focused on helping to improve the energy efficiency of the built environment, both for new and existing buildings. Globally, buildings are responsible for 37% of energy-related carbon emissions (when compared with other sectors): 27% from operational emissions - the emissions from heating, cooling and electricity, and 10% from embodied emissions - the emissions from construction and maintenance.
Our ten-year Planet Passionate sustainability strategy commits us to reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 90% by 2030, reducing absolute Scope 3 GHG emissions by 42% within the same timeframe and increasing our use of bio-based and recycled product formulations.

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