Finance, as a heavily regulated, heavily audited industry, is set to place pressure on real estate to strive for net zero. New rules in the UK, for example, are set to force all UK-listed companies to go green, and funding for buildings without a net zero plan could dry up in as little as two years – Guy Grainger, Head of Sustainability at JLL, starkly warned at the recent CREtech event.
To comply with emerging Environmental Social and corporate Governance (ESG) requirements, investors are set to rush to factor new ESG realities into decision making, with some $8 trillion estimated as the budget needed to retrofit buildings throughout Europe alone. Alleviating the uncertainty that currently shrouds the real estate investment market requires policy makers to agree on actionable and pragmatic targets, and support a benchmarking strategy that enables the reallocation of both capital and skills.
On the other side of the equation, tenants are voting with their feet. For 63% of office workers, working within an environmentally sustainable office is very important, and as many as one fifth would point blank refuse to work in an unsustainable building.
People want sustainable places to work. From large corporates to small operations, there exists universal demand for landlords to provide sustainability and energy data. As one multi-billion global corporate told WiredScore “Investors and landlords need to know that if they are not net zero, they won’t exist in a couple of years.”