EXPO Real: Logistics occupiers want more green buildings

Ingo Steves: Sustainability a ‘must’ to win deals

Carbon neutrality is now a must for warehouses and business parks, delegates heard at Real Asset Media’s Sustainable Logistics Investment & Development briefing, which took place yesterday at the International Investors´ lounge at EXPO REAL in Munich.

¨Demand for green warehouses is growing, as tenants are increasingly coming on board¨, said Bert Hesselink, Group Client Management Director, CTP. ¨Another positive of being sustainable is in conversations with banks, as it gets us cheaper financing.”

Over 90% of large corporations have an ESG strategy and CO2 .neutrality plans in place.

¨Sustainability is a must to win the deals, end of story,” said Ingo Steves, Managing Partner Logistics, Swiss Life Asset Management.¨It can be the deciding factor in convincing the municipality to grant planning consent.”

The situation is different in the US, where the logistics sector has been slower to adopt ESG principles and where sustainability is not a top priority for tenants.

¨There is still a long way to go for the US to catch up with Europe, but things are changing fast,” said Bohdy Hedgcock, Managing Director, Clarion Partners. ¨Pressure from investors is leading to action and most importantly the tenants are becoming more aware of the issue. But hey are not demanding net zero buildings yet, and they wouldn´t find them if they were.”

Some pressure is also coming from European companies that have a presence in the US and take their expectations and convictions with them.

¨In time, their example will change the market,” said Hedgcock. ¨We´ve taken the step to get certifications for all our buildings, which was actually a very streamlined process, and now we find we have a competitive advantage as other companies are scrambling to catch up¨.

California is the first State in the US where you must have renewable power in order to get a planning permit, but others may follow.

¨There´s a debate whether investing in renewable energy sources is a good use of capital, but we´re confident we can get a good return,” said Hedgcock. ¨We see it like any other amenity we put in the building to improve it,”