On March 31st 2020, our Chief Operating Officer, Dr Lois Salem, participated in the first REFI Europe Webinar "Sustainability and Green Buildings". What should we remember from the discussion?
Climate risk is becoming a growing challenge for the real estate industry. Five years ago, climate risk was at the bottom of asset portfolios impact. Today, real improvements have been made as we see reporting frameworks, such as TCFT, emerge. But there is still a long way to go. It is up to the industry to interpret the Paris Agreement in the best way possible.
Paris Agreement's objectives are attainable if focus is put on generating meaningful data, which will aim to understand buildings’ performance. This data needs to be shared with tenants so that efforts can be collective. There needs to be full transparency in terms of how investors disclose their objectives but also their progress and end results. Indeed, balance between green initiatives and competitiveness can be found in the creation of a framework in which transparency is advertised as a key asset.
Sustainability Standards are fundamental in identifying, communicating and acting upon areas of improvements for a building’s optimization. It provides a benchmark for future investors, enhances your asset, guarantees your asset while putting the industry closer to reach the 1.5-degree target. It has been proven that certified buildings outperform non-certified buildings and that the operational costs engendered by optimization are often compensated by the rent income. There is still room for improvement, as certifications operate on different criteria and sometimes don’t take into account performance gaps between the conception and the operation phases.
Implementing sustainability in buildings is a journey, a journey that needs to be collective, gathering property investors, managers and tenants. Tenants will play a big part in optimizing a building, as they are the once occupying it. Managing the risks of your asset will inevitably lead to an array of improvement opportunities which will, eventually, create value for all parties.