Research

The impact of
sustainability on value

Developing the business case for net zero carbon buildings in central London

May 28, 2020
Do sustainable buildings offer financial benefits?

This is just one of the questions that we set out to answer in this report. Sustainability is becoming a mainstream issue within the real estate sector and will become ever more fundamental in the process of delivering office space as it moves up the occupier agenda.

We set out to understand the approaches that corporates currently have to sustainability and have undertaken a number of interviews to ascertain the importance to companies today and in the future. This report aims to quantify the demand for more sustainable office buildings in central London over the next few years.

To understand the value proposition, we have examined leasing activity across central London and the relationship between rental values and BREEAM and EPC certified buildings. But, more importantly, we look to the future and explore how developers and landlords need to focus their portfolio strategy in a world that will increasingly revolve around stricter energy performance targets, the rise of net zero carbon and the circular economy.

This publication was written before the Covid-19 crisis and should be read in the context of the market at that time.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a material uncertainty in real estate market performance. Across Europe, there is considerable variation in the extent of the human implications unfolding and their impact on economic activity, including the trajectory, duration and extent of these impacts on all real estate sectors. Varying recent and ongoing policy responses across the region and mitigating implications will differ by market and sector.

Sustainability was and still will be a long-term priority for many businesses. The pandemic has nevertheless brought a number of sustainability issues to the fore and as we emerge from the crisis, we fully expect companies to prioritise sustainability as part of their strategy for recovery. This includes accelerated action on transition to net zero and this report provides useful evidence to build a robust business case for investing in sustainability.

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