NAR provides leadership and strategies for sustainability that benefit members, associations, and communities.

The creation of NAR’s Sustainability Program in 2017 began a surge of member interest and support. The Sustainability Program introduced corporate social responsibility and triple bottom line concepts into NAR’s decision-making practices, balancing economic, environmental, and social benefits.

For the past two years, REALTORS® have driven major initiatives that reduce the association's operational impact, engage our membership at local, state, and national levels to adopt sustainability conversations and committees, hosted annual Sustainability Summits to continue progress of sustainability initiatives around the industry, conducted the annual REALTORS® & Sustainability report to gauge the nature of sustainability in real estate, and adopted a set of 15 Sustainability Strategic Priorities to integrate sustainability throughout the association. Overall, the association aims to increase awareness about sustainability for REALTORS® around the country, showing the business case for sustainability at the association and brokerage level, and highlighting the business opportunity for agents who better understand home performance, valuation, and sustainable development. NAR plans to continue building awareness and creating a culture of sustainability for the association and its members.

Political Advocacy


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

REALTORS® & Sustainability Report

REALTORS® & Sustainability Report (National Association of REALTORS®, Mar. 2020)

Sustainability and Real Estate

Risk-Averse Real Estate Investing Is Turning to Sustainability for Strong, Long-Term Financial Returns (Forbes, Jan. 5, 2021)

Sustainability’s New Normal in a Post-Pandemic World (WMRE, Sep. 29, 2020)

COVID-19 Impacts on Sustainability in Real Estate (Cushman & Wakefield, Sep. 4, 2020)

Sustainability in the Built Environment: Paths Towards Healthy Growth in our Urban Environment (MIT Center for Real Estate, Aug. 27, 2020)

Real Estate Leaders Need To Be Advocates For Sustainability, Even During The Pandemic (Forbes, Aug. 17, 2020)

Sustainability Leadership Is Often About Getting Started (Journal of Property Management, 2018) E

Tools, Tool Kits, and Guides 

Sustainability Resource Guide (National Association of REALTORS®, 2018) -- This resource tells NAR’s sustainability story and guides REALTOR® boards and members through common sustainability topics, case studies, industry partnerships, policy overview, internal programs and research.

Bringing Home Energy Information to Real Estate: A Toolkit (Better Buildings Home Energy Information Accelerator, 2018) -- This document helps readers interested in improving access to home energy information navigate the many resources, lessons learned, and best practices developed through the Accelerator.

GREEN Designation (National Association of REALTORS®) -- By earning NAR's Green Designation, you position yourself as a leader in green real estate that's fully equipped to help clients take advantage of the opportunities their next home can offer. After completing the course, you'll have ongoing access to webinars, newsletters, and other resources that ensure you can continue to market your specialty even as the market changes.

Resources for State and Local Association

NAR’s Land Use Initiative is a program designed to assist state and local REALTOR® associations in their public policy advocacy of land use issues. Upon request, NAR will provide expert analysis of the legal, planning, economic, and environmental issues surrounding legislative and regulatory land use proposals.

Placemaking is a way to make your community a better place to live and work by transforming public spaces into vibrant community places. As a place becomes more desirable and welcoming, properties around that place increase in value. Funding for placemaking projects is available to state and local REALTOR® associations.

  • Placemaking Grant: To help plan, organize, implement and maintain projects to improve a neighborhood with small, inexpensive, incremental projects which will help to make the neighborhood a better place to live, work and play.
  • Smart Growth Action Grant: For larger Placemaking activities, such as Better Block and Main Street®, which support land-use related activities.

Customized State Smart Growth Legislation Program provides assistance to state REALTOR® associations that wish to take the lead in writing and introducing legislation to help the state better address the challenges of growth and improve local communities.

Greening the MLS

Home Energy Information Guide (Home Energy Information Accelerator, Council of Multiple Listing Services, and National Association of REALTORS® Real Estate Standards Organization, 2017) – This guide helps real estate professionals and Multiple Listing Services make the value of efficiency investments visible to homeowners and buyers, even if the projects themselves are neatly hidden.

Quick Start Guide MLS Green Fields (Council of Multiple Listing Services, 2018) – The intent of this supplement is to provide a best practice check list that makes the identification and implementation of “green fields” or home performance indicators easier, and to provide information related to RESO certification.

Green Data Best Practices (Council of Multiple Listing Services, 2018) – CMLS Best Practices bring together emerging and proven practices from across real estate to align and advance professional standards within the MLS industry.

Green Sheet: Solar Power Fields (Council of Multiple Listing Services, 2017) – This Green Sheet, published by the CMLS Green MLS Section Council, serves as a primer to educate the real estate industry on power production fields.

CMLS Green Sheet: Automated Efficiency Models (AEMs) (Council of Multiple Listing Services, 2017) – As with any new data source that may potentially impact the marketplace, shape public perception, or influence a real estate transaction, there are always many questions. CMLS Green MLS Section Council has answered some of these questions in order to provide the MLS industry with a foundation of information regarding AEMs.

Duty to Serve

Supporting Affordable Housing Preservation (Freddie Mac®) -- Shared equity programs and energy efficiency alternatives.

Committing to Do More - Duty to Serve (Fannie Mae®) -- Helping keep established properties available as low-cost housing alternatives.

eBooks & Other Resources

Essential Sustainable Home Design (eBook)

Making Better Buildings (Kindle, eBook)

Home Sweet Zero Energy Home (Kindle, eBook)

Green Building Products (Kindle, eBook)

Green Building A to Z (Kindle, eBook)

The Homeowner's Energy Handbook (Kindle, eBook)

Sustainable Design (Kindle, eBook)

Sustainable Facilities (Kindle, eBook)

The Homeowner's Energy Handbook (Kindle, eBook)

On Common Ground (National Association of REALTORS®)

The Little Green Book: Green Rules to Live By for REALTORS® (Available for purchase from the REALTOR® Store)

Smart Growth America -- Envisions a country where no matter where you live, or who you are, you can enjoy living in a place that is healthy, prosperous, and resilient. We empower communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to realize our vision of livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity.

Appraisal Institute® Green Building Resources -- Appraisal Institute offers a variety of resources centered on the valuation of sustainable properties.


Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


Programs From NAR

Smart Growth Program

NAR's Smart Growth Program assist local and state associations with the smart growth issues in their communities and regions.

Home Performance Counts

Home Performance Counts

The demand for green homes has grown rapidly in recent years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Why? Because homebuyers today are looking for healthier, more efficient homes. Home Performance Counts is an educational initiative developed jointly by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to help their members work together and succeed in the rapidly growing marketplace for high performance homes.

Visit homeperformancecounts.info for education programs, professional resources, research, and more.

Related Topics

Green Property Management

Green leases align the financial and energy incentives of building owners and tenants so they can work together to save money and conserve resources.

Smart Homes

Homeowners and renters want smarthome devices for many reasons, but security and energy management are among the most significant.