At a Glance


Financial Services and Insurance

Project Types

Financial Evaluation and Planning, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy




New York, NY


Valerie Crum designed a new C-PACE real estate finance product to incentivize low-embodied carbon construction and accelerate whole-building decarbonization.


Nuveen Green Capital is a national leader in sustainable commercial real estate financing solutions and an affiliate of Nuveen, a global top 5 real estate investment manager with $156B in real estate assets. Nuveen enlisted EDF Climate Corps Fellow Valerie Crum to define new technical pathways for C-PACE real estate finance products to invest in low-embodied carbon construction and building materials. 


Valerie completed a series of research and analysis projects to inform a new C-PACE product for whole-building decarbonization:  

  • Policy Review: Analyzed active C-PACE state policies to identify high-impact markets and developed science-backed policy strategies to support the new product.
  • Market Research: Interviewed subject experts and reviewed emerging low-carbon materials to evaluate the new product’s viability and potential for impact. 
  • Business Case: Developed a business case for the new C-PACE product for internal audiences. Authored public-facing materials to market the concept to policymakers, C-PACE administrators, and real estate.
  • Technical Standards: Developed a menu of technical standards to evaluate low-carbon construction for C-PACE eligibility. Standards are designed to develop regional markets for low-carbon materials and then ramp up to accelerate decarbonization. 

Potential Impact

Valerie’s work developed a new opportunity for Nuveen to increase both deal size and carbon savings, ensuring a sustainable product that addresses the 13% of annual global carbon emissions from building materials. Initial estimates anticipate that the new product could incentivize increased carbon savings in new construction projects by 20% or more with no or low-cost premiums.

This project provided the technical support and business case necessary to pursue a pilot program, paving the way for Nuveen and the broader real estate finance industry to accelerate whole-building decarbonization. 

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