Most landlords have no sustainability strategy

Posted on Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Only three in 10 (30%) commercial landlords have a strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions, indicating that it’s still a low priority for some.

Two in five (42%) have one or more sustainability policies in place but no overall strategy, while a quarter (23%) are unaware of what sustainability policies are in place across their portfolio.

Wybo Wijnbergen, chief executive of infinitSpace, said: “Sustainability is a key factor for businesses when selecting a workspace, and our research has clearly demonstrated that landlords which prioritise this will be rewarded with uptake in demand.

“But that is not the only reason landlords must have robust sustainability strategies in place. In the UK, the built environment is responsible for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions; so the real estate sector clearly has a key role to play in reducing emissions.

“infinitSpace and The Instant Group’s research highlights that this cannot be achieved without helping office landlords to make their portfolios more sustainable.”

Despite low uptake, almost half (48%) landlords recognise that having strong policies is essential to keeping occupancy rates high.

This was demonstrated by the correlation between landlords’ occupancy levels and sustainability strategies.

Of those with an occupancy level greater than 70%, over half (56%) have sustainability strategies in place – almost double the average (30%).

Comparatively, of those with an occupancy rate of less than 40%, almost half (46%) have no policies or are not aware of what they are.

Sam Pickering, executive director of Sustainability at Incendium (part of the Instant Group), said: “It’s undeniable that the right strategic advisory and investment in sustainability practices are mutually beneficial for both asset owners and the planet.

“The correlation between established sustainability strategies and higher occupancy rates as revealed in this research is significantly compelling.

“As the evolving world of work and prioritisation of sustainability continue to disrupt the real estate industry, office landlords and investors are at a crossroads. The time is now for owners and landlords to commit to long-term sustainability strategies.

“Otherwise, achieving targets will become more challenging or even missed, and they will get left behind. It requires a fundamental mindset and behaviour shift that puts sustainability at the core of business agendas and operating models.”

Via @PropertyWire