Improving properties’ green credentials is in the interests of both landlord and tenant – The Irish Times

As green ESG targets become more widespread, the need for sustainable performance has begun to trickle down from class-A new-builds to older office

Axa Investment Managers Alts and local partner BCP Capital are currently engaging in a €50 million revamp of La Touche House at the IFSC in Dublin. This is a digital impression of how it will look.
Ken Noble

Sustainability, carbon reduction, climate change, green energy, ESG (environmental, social and governance) and CSR (corporate social responsibility) are all terms that now feature daily in the mainstream media but which five years ago would have been predominantly the preserve of environmental specialists and special-interest groups.

And while these would all have been key considerations in terms of prime new developments – and particularly office buildings – it is worth considering the impact these factors are now having on property values and on the wider property market.

The vast majority of new office developments, and particularly those in good office locations, have over the past five years or so been carefully designed and built to specifications tailored to meet the best possible LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) designations

The institutional and investment-fund owners of such buildings increasingly need to ensure that their portfolio is as environmentally friendly as possible, driven by their own ESG targets but also as their investors opt to invest in sustainable, green product and potentially also to avail of the cost benefits of green finance.

In addition to the ESG targets of both corporate occupiers and investment fund landlords, employees are also increasingly looking to work for companies with good sustainability credentials, a need that companies must recognise and address given the current competition for talent.

The combined interests of these various stakeholders is driving a much greater focus on the sustainable performance and green credentials of all commercial property. While the main focus to date has been on the design and specification of new buildings, many corporate occupiers now in situ are addressing their own ESG targets and timelines, which can be challenging to meet.