ESG: The New Commercial Real Estate Trend

Commercial real estate developers and investors are getting serious about ESG
Brandon Lee/Unsplash

Covid and its signature lockdowns have forced us to re-evaluate workspaces, and as climate disasters occur more often, we will need to also re-evaluate how these workspaces are built and operated. 

ESG Is Now An Expectation

Per CBRE’s 2021 Global Investor Intentions Survey, 60% of respondents said they have already adopted environment, sustainability and governance (ESG) criteria as part of their investment strategies.

And that's because with rougher weather and increased energy consumption, a property’s longevity and its carbon footprint are becoming important factors in driving investor interest and occupancy rates. 

Major ESG Trends In Commercial Real Estate

🍀 Green Leases: Green leases financially incentivize occupiers/tenants to take part in energy conservation, waste reduction and other sustainable actions. And green leases are growing in popularity. 

Per a recent JLL study, 34% of global occupants already have green lease clauses, while an additional 40% plan to sign them by 2025.

🍀 Energy Efficiency: High energy consumption by office buildings is no longer cool with occupiers. 

In the real world, HVAC sensors can limit energy consumption, while Internet of Things (IOT) hardware can regulate ventilation, heating and lighting, meaning real estate technology can help both developers and occupiers meet their energy targets. 

🍀 Responsible Investment: Meeting carbon footprint benchmarks is becoming increasingly necessary for property owners to secure investments and for investors to attract occupiers.

As ESG regulation goes mainstream, and is increasingly deployed to evaluate a property, CRE developers and investors must stay on top of their sustainability commitment.

🍀 Occupier Health And Wellness: The social implementation of an ESG strategy can range from refining employee wellness initiatives to creating employee safety and training programs. 

Research says 66% of employees worry about their health and safety when returning to the office. Providing occupiers with peace of mind will be critical for property owners to drive occupancy rates.
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