The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative and its global partners – IGCC, IIGCC, Ceres INCR, PRI and the RICS – have resolved to create clear signposts for action for real estate stakeholders, regardless of size or existing level of sophistication of ESG and climate issues.
This has resulted in a framework and practical guide that distil all available materials published over the last five years, reviewing and filtering those most relevant for each of the real estate stakeholders and the different steps in the investment process.
It is meant for real estate investors and their professional advisors to use in order to address climate risk and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from property portfolios – through attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) and climate change risks within their standard business processes. Prepared by the UNEP Finance Initiative, PRI, RICS and investor groups from Europe (IIGCC), North America (INCR Ceres) and Australasia (IGCC), the publication was officially released on Monday. More than ever before, governments all over the world are now constrained to find cost-effective ways to curb pollution, with every sector and every economic actor coming under close scrutiny.
The building sector is said to have one of the highest carbon footprints as it currently contributes 30 per cent of global annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and consumes around 40 per cent of world’s energy. Tagged: “Sustainable Real Estate Investment – Implementing the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement – An action framework,” the document sets out the measures to improve returns and better protect the future value of real estate investments through engagement with the ESG and climate agendas.
Launching the framework in London, co-author, Tatiana Bosteels, head of responsible property investments at Hermes IM, chair of UNEP FI’s property working group and IIGCC’s property work programme, said: “Buildings consume around 40 per cent of world’s energy and contribute up to 30 per cent of its annual GHG emissions, so the people who manage global real estate assets – valued at around $50 trillion – have a vital role to play if humanity is to curb emissions in line with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.”