Commercial property market sees significant shift in attitudes to green building

commercial propertyThe UK commercial property market is experiencing a major attitudinal shift towards green buildings according to GVA’s fifth Green to Gold report. The biannual survey questions commercial property investors on their understanding of market perceptions of the value of sustainability criteria and gauges their attitudes towards regulation and related issues. The latest edition of the study published this month claims that the market ‘no longer views sustainability as a nice to have’ with more than half of those questioned considering green building credentials as a key driver of investment performance. Perhaps unsurprisingly this belief strengthens with regard to longer term investments. The research also found that nearly all (94 percent) of those surveyed now had a sustainability policy in place at either the organisational or fund level and 59 percent of respondents said that three quarters of their portfolios have been assessed against sustainability criteria, compared with just a quarter in 2012.

Other findings include the fact that 98 percent of investors now undertake some form of sustainability due diligence at a pre-acquisition stage. As in the 2012 survey, the major driver for carrying out a sustainability assessment remains legislation over half (56 percent) of respondents reporting that this as a reason.

Steve Gibbon, Director at GVA in Cardiff said: “Our latest Green to Gold findings are encouraging. What’s clear is that the majority of fund managers and investors believe the industry is moving away from a simple box-ticking mentality.Given the scale of policy, due diligence and strategy that appears to now be in place, as well as the growing proportion of existing assets and potential investments being assessed against sustainability criteria, it’s clear sustainability is no longer being treated as an add on, but rather considered as best practice, or the norm. We believe as an industry we have moved beyond preaching to convincing and are moving into an era of acceptance and integration.”