MIPIM: Developers now on funds’ sustainability page

Sustainable development has always been at the core of what CBRE Capital Advisors’ funds do, according to executive director Will Church.

“The primary objective is to support economic growth in the areas where they’re set up and where they invest,” he said.

The widespread shift in attitudes to ESG has meant that the minimum standards the firm applied to the developments it funded over the 12 years since it established its first fund, originally seemed strict.

“Now we’re seeing EPC A as a minimum and BREEAM Very Good as minimum standards, for example. On everything we fund we have an eye to making sure that they are the very best in terms of environmental performance when they’re built,” Church said in a MIPIM interview with Real Asset Media.  

“What’s really important is that by encouraging regeneration and redevelopment in those areas we’re slowly replacing stock where the average EPC might be for example a ‘D’ rating.”

He explained, however, that local cooperation is absolutely essential in the funds that the firm manages, which include examples in the UK’s Merseyside, Manchester, Cardiff and Northern Ireland.

“Typically, the money is sourced from local government, one way or another, and the board makeup is typically at least 50% from local government, to make sure that we’re developing the type of assets that meet their objectives.”

But nowadays developers are “on the same page” in terms of their own minimum standards.

“They foresee that in three or five years time when they exit the development, either by refinancing or selling, it will have to meet the conditions at that time so they’re actually going further ahead.”

Please click on the video above to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.