Although the biggest current challenge for the real estate sector is finance, and in particular the cost of new development, said Anna Tsartsari, co-founding director and head of ESG and Sustainability at multi disciplinary design practice BE Design, sustainability and ESG remain a major focus.
“There has been a slowdown, so new developments are really not happening but ESG and sustainability is quite a big priority for tenants and investors,” she said. The difficulty is proving that they work financially, Tsartsari added in a recent interview with Real Asset Insight.
ESG and sustainability are among a number of mega trends affecting the real estate sector, and a particular concern is climate-change-related stranded assets. She said that there is a lot of work to be done to retrofit and improve existing assets.
However, reporting on ESG and sustainability is now a major challenge. “There are so many reporting systems, so many frameworks, there’s definitely some fatigue on reporting,” she said. “We’re waiting to see a bit more standardisation and government standards and frameworks that will be applied to everyone.”
“Europe is definitely ahead of the UK with the EU taxonomy and CRREM [Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor] already in place. In the UK we’re working with a number of organisations to develop the UK Net Zero Carbon Standard which should be ready in the next year and that will simplify things and bring some commonality.”