PURPOSE: This paper analyses the state, potentials and challenges of sustainable real estate in Nigeria.

APPROACH: The impact of sustainability considerations in the real estate industry will be assessed based on the statistical analysis of Green Building Councils and the certifications of sustainable real estate globally and in Africa. Drivers for sustainable real estate and their relevance for the African context are identified also by Nigerian case studies and interviews with property developers and investors from West Africa. This leads to an analysis of the obstacles to the development and certification of sustainable real estate in Africa and ways to overcome them.

FINDINGS: The research points to the awareness and pursuit of sustainability in real estate as a mark of professional excellence, a willingness to consider the long-term implications of real estate and available funds. This is increasingly the case in Nigeria, even if starting from a low level. The certification of properties is restricted by cost, absence of enabling policy framework or client demand and lack of adequate certification systems and organizations.

RESEARCH LIMITATIONS: This paper is based on exploratory research that would need to be expanded to other countries.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The paper intends to contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for the creation and certification of sustainable real estate in Nigeria and Africa.

ORIGINALITY: This contribution to the AfRES Annual Conference is based on analysis of current secondary data and primary sources.