With Bill Hughes, our Managing Director’s role as Chairman of the Green Property Alliance we are leading the industry with regards to sustainability. We also participate in a number of initiatives to help advance the property sectors knowledge and analysis of sustainability:
This industry initiative aims to pool data on more than £10 billion of UK property in order to chart the correlation between sustainability attributes of buildings and both rental growth and values
Global real estate sustainability benchmarking (GRESB)
GRESB’s mission is to enhance and protect shareholder value by evaluating and improving sustainability best practices in the global and real estate sector. We submit all our funds to the annual benchmarking exercise and provide publicly available information to all investors
In the last year we have hosted a series of debates with Property Week, in order to raise awareness of the current issues facing the property sector with regard to sustainability
Better Building Partnership (BBP)
We are active members of the UK BBP, which is a collaboration of leading commercial property owners whose aim is to provide solutions to improve the sustainability of existing buildings.
We recognise that we need to work in partnership with our tenants, advisors, suppliers, industry peers and other stakeholders to implement fundamental change.
In seeking to embed sustainability into the heart of every employee’s job function we recognised that, as well as setting employee sustainability objectives as part of our appraisal systems, we also needed to provide guidance and training on how to achieve the objectives. Internal training includes the compulsory sustainable property investment course which we pioneered with the College of Estate Management (CEM) and UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) in 2008.
We use our resources to provide sustainability guides for office occupiers and retail and leisure tenants and also provides sustainability advice during tenants fit out and alteration processes. We engage in proactive tenant liaison, sharing data, setting annual action plans on environmental and social areas and offer support for upgrades in the form of energy audits or shared savings options to tenants.
Social sustainability for our properties is equally important for our business. We need to ensure that our investments deliver long-term benefits for the communities that live near, or work in, our properties. So we are committed to engaging with them throughout our ownership of the asset. We have bee fortunate to have NGO’s such as SIGWatch on hand to help us better understand issues and opportunities around community activism on new developments for our fund managers.
Simon Russian, Retail Fund manager, said, “The training was very useful in helping to recognise and deal with aggrieved and affected parties from property activity that we are involved in.”
Simon Wilkes, Head of Business Space development, said, "The training was useful as it allowed me to understand the way our support of the St Joseph’s had developed and made me to structure the project in a more organised way."