Developers are ESG-alert but ‘reporting fatigue’ is setting in

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.”