Sustainability Update – Legislation & Regulation

KSN Horizon investigates the latest sustainability legislation, regulations, and climate news to highlight some of the key changes facing companies, investors, and building owners across the globe.

To ensure immediate climate action and delivery of the Paris Agreement goals, many nations and regions are increasing sustainability disclosure requirements and legislation.

Read our full report here: Sustainability Update – April 2022

IPCC Working Group II Report

IPCC Working Group II Report.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) report was released on the 28th of February 2022. The IPCC is an intergovernmental panel of the members of the United Nations. They conduct scientific assessments that explain the current and future risks posed by climate change. The most recent report outlined the immediate and long-term impacts of climate change on our ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities.

General findings

  • The report outlines that around 3.3 – 3.6 billion people are highly vulnerable to climate change. Continents like Africa, Asia, Central and Southern America face greater risks due to existing vulnerabilities in food and health systems.
  • Global warming of 1.5C will lead to an unavoidable increase in some climate hazards.
  • The extent of climate change and the adverse effect on humans and ecosystems depends greatly on the immediate implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures.
  • The report also observed that the risks posed by extreme weather events are heightening in complexity, making them much more difficult to manage.

Implications for Europe

  • Based on a 1.5C scenario, the risk of mortality from climate events like drought and heatwaves will increase two to threefold at a 3C scenario.
  • The risk of water scarcity will double under a 3C scenario, when compared to a 2C one. In Europe, this will have negative effects on mainly the Western Central and Southern regions.
  • The risk of flooding and sea level rise will double under a 3C scenario. Additionally, current adaptation and mitigation measures will lead to a tenfold increase in coastal flood damage by the end of the century. This poses huge threats to the resilience of Irish coastal regions and cities like Waterford, Limerick, Galway, Cork, and Dublin.

Risk to the Built Environment

  • The IPCC report acknowledges that people, infrastructure, and buildings in coastal cities are already experiencing the adverse effects of sea-level rise and climate variability.
  • The IPCC recommends the continued introduction of policies that incentivize low-carbon technologies in high-emitting sectors like buildings and energy.
  • The IPCC also recommends the continued investment in the heat resistance of the built environment, to reduce the negative effects of prolonged warm periods and higher temperatures.

Figure 1 highlights the number of days above 35C under a 1.5C and 3C scenario.



Figure 2 highlights the increase in maximum one-day precipitation under a 1.5C and 3C scenario



KSN Horizon can help our clients manage their climate impact through our sustainability services, which include carbon mitigation strategies for real estate and the built environment. Contact our team at for more information.

KSN Horizon EU Taxonomy Regulation Update – 1st January 2022

The first section of the mandatory EU Taxonomy Regulation came into force on the 1st of January this year.

The new regulation sets out various screening criteria for financial investments to be regarded as green or sustainable. This will shift investment towards projects that are socially acceptable, economically vibrant, and environmentally secure. This will increase the resilience of investments and real-estate portfolios against the various climate risks like flooding, rising temperatures, and extreme weather events.

The delegated Regulation, released earlier this year, provides investors with clear criteria to assess whether an economic activity contributes to climate change mitigation or adaptation. Most notably, this will affect the construction and acquisition of new buildings and the real estate activities of investors. In summary, it requires buildings to ‘do no significant harm’ (DNSH) to the climate or environmental activities.

Construction of new builds:

The delegated Regulation requires new builds to operate at least 10% below the standard required by Nearly-Zero Energy Building (NZEB), to be regarded as ‘green’. Also, buildings larger than 5,000 m2 must disclose to investors, any deviations from the performance set out in the design phase regarding airtightness and thermal control. The life-cycle Global Warming Potential (GWP) of construction must be conducted for buildings larger than 5,000 m2 and it must be disclosed to clients and investors upon demand.

Building acquisition/ownership:

To be regarded as a sustainable investment, non-residential buildings must be monitored and assessed in relation to their energy performance. Buildings constructed before the 31st of December 2020 must have an Energy Performance Rating (EPR) of Class A, or they must be in the top 15% of the regional or national building stock for energy performance. Additionally, those built after the 31st of December 2020 must meet the screening criteria set out in the construction of new builds, such as operating at 10% below NZEB, conducting a GWP, and ensuring airtightness and thermal control.

KSN Horizon can help our clients manage their real estate portfolios through our sustainability services. Contact to learn more.

KSN group Launch KSN Horizon

It is no surprise that climate change is the most important global issue that will continue to exist as an existential threat to our way of life. To limit temperature rise to 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels, we must reduce the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) we emit into the atmosphere. Ireland has committed to reducing GHG emissions by 51% by 2030 and reaching net-zero by 2050.


Given that the built environment accounts for approximately 40% of global carbon emissions, the real estate industry can help us meet our national emission reduction targets. According to the recently released Climate Action Plan 2021, Ireland’s built environment sector must reduce emissions by 4 – 5 Mt CO2 eq. by 2030.


Investors’ demands for sustainability; environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are among the most pressing issues confronting global financial markets. These requirements have an impact on investment decisions in the real estate sector because they affect prospects for value appreciation, vulnerability to obsolescence, and the risk of premature devaluation.


To address these sustainability and ESG challenges, Irish-owned award-winning KSN Construction Consultants, KSN Project Management, and KSN Energy has launched ‘KSN Horizon’, who will provide the practical implementation of strategic, long-term sustainable solutions to the real estate sector in Ireland and Europe.


“KSN Horizon is a truly unique development for the real estate sector in Ireland and beyond,” says Barry Chambers, the newly appointed Property Director at KSN Horizon. “To achieve net zero for the built environment, we have a fantastic team of sustainability consultants who are supported by an experienced group of property and construction professionals, project managers and energy assessors. Over the course of the coming year, we are planning to double the size of the team from 20 people currently”


Commenting on the new development, Brian Cunningham, Director of KSN adds, “KSN Horizon is uniquely positioned to provide a full end-to-end service – from initial data measurement and verification, implementation of carbon mitigation strategies, asset improvement plans, to subsequent monitoring. KSN Horizon enables us to deliver a unique service offering to our clients to comply with current and imminent regulations and to optimise market opportunities.


We have invested heavily in resources to address current and future sustainable challenges, including training and certification, achieving ISO 9001, 14001, 27001, and 50001 accreditations, attaining BREEAM Assessor status, and becoming a member of the Irish Green Building Council, cementing our position as Ireland’s gold standard dedicated sustainability consultancy”.


KSN Horizon was launched with the appointment of Barry Chambers as Director of Property and Brian Cunningham as Director. Their mission is to assist organisations in the real estate sector in transitioning to a sustainable net-zero, resilient future.

Q&A Interview with Brian Cunningham Director of KSN Horizon

Investors’ demands for sustainability; environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are among the most pressing issues confronting global financial markets. These requirements have an impact on investment decisions in the real estate sector because they affect prospects for value appreciation, vulnerability to obsolescence, and the risk of premature devaluation.

To address these sustainability and ESG challenges, Irish-owned award-winning KSN Construction Consultants, KSN Project Management, and KSN Energy have launched ‘KSN Horizon’, which will provide the practical implementation of strategic, long-term sustainable solutions to the real estate sector in Ireland and Europe.

As part of their launch, we spoke with Brian Cunningham, Director of KSN Horizon, about the company’s mission, how they assist clients, and what we can expect from them in 2022 and beyond.


Q1. Brian, can you tell us how KSN Horizon came about?

Of course, in 2018, a long-standing client requested assistance from KSNPM in preparing an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report for their stakeholders. After completing the reporting exercise, I realised that property owners will require guidance and advice on how to meet their climate goals. KSNPM was then appointed to a second climate advisory role. We required the assistance and expertise of KSN construction consultants and KSN energy consultants to move this forward.

I quickly realised during this period that we needed to expand our current skill set in order to meet our clients’ requirements for transitioning to a net-zero economy. At first, I viewed climate change as a business opportunity, a market gap. As I gained a better understanding of the effects of climate change on our planet, my perspective quickly shifted from one of business opportunity to one of a duty of care we all owe to our environment and future generations, thus the birth of KSN Horizon.


Q2. What does KSN Horizon do for its clients Brian? 

With the ever-changing landscape of climate legalisation, the ramping up of green finance, and its reporting criteria, there is growing anxiety amongst asset owners to reach net-zero. Our primary objective at KSN Horizon is to provide clients with a well-articulated long-term strategy and a clear plan to address the transition to Net-Zero.

We feel this approach will distinguish our clients from their peers thus inspiring confidence with their shareholders, end-users, capital providers, and other stakeholders. We also offer a range of other bespoke sustainability services for clients.


Q3. Brian, what are the core values that KSN Horizon works towards? 

Contributing to climate change mitigation, I believe, is a privilege. I believe that we should apply what we have learned to better the world and assist those who do not have the same advantages. After all, our human contract is not just with our immediate family, but with all of the planet’s inhabitants.


Q4. What can we expect to see from KSN Horizon in 2022?

KSN Horizon is anticipating an exciting and busy year in 2022, with a steady stream of work already in the pipeline.

We want to see KSN Horizon serve as a catalyst for climate action in the real estate and construction sectors, providing clients with practical guidance on how to achieve their sustainability objectives.

Along with our current services, we hope to launch a comprehensive Green House Gas (GHG) accounting and reporting service for clients who are required to provide a GHG inventory. This is critical in light of upcoming European legislation requiring large companies to publish regular reports on the social and environmental impact of their operations (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, CSRD).

In addition, we will launch a KSN Horizon sustainability newsletter to keep our clients up to date on the latest climate matters from around the globe. We will continue to develop a number of key pieces of marketing collateral in addition to sustainability insights, and we hope to expand our workforce from 20 to 40 over the next 12 months. Along with this, we want to raise our industry profile by attending and presenting at a number of industry events.


Q5. Does KSN Horizon work with clients outside of Ireland?

Yes, a number of our clients have assets located throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. Combating the effects of climate change is a global issue, and as such, we want to contribute actively to macro-level solutions.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) are at the heart of the Paris Climate Agreement (NDCs). This is a commitment by each country to mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt to its consequences.

KSN Horizon aspires to be recognised as pioneers in Ireland’s effort to achieve net-zero emissions in the real estate and construction sectors. In this way, we hope to assist Ireland in meeting its climate targets for 2030 and 2050.


To find out more about KSN Horizons bespoke range of services visit our services page here.

KSN Horizon Quarterly Sustainability Newsletter – Sep – Nov 2021

KSN Horizon Quarterly Sustainability & Resilience Newsletter.

KSN Horizon is delighted to share the second edition of our Sustainability & Resilience Newsletter.

Our sustainability newsletter is part of our commitment to employee and workplace health and wellness.

This newsletter was created by the KSN Horizon Sustainability team to educate you about KSN Horizon’s sustainable practices and culture, as well as global sustainability news, in order to meet our own sustainability goals while also assisting you in meeting yours.

Read the full report here: KSN Horizon Newsletter