Realcast: Fuel costs raise ESG stakes, live events gather pace, life science surprise for London

In the spotlight this week:

Among the ramifications of the now six-week old war in Ukraine and the desire to unravel the dependence on Russian fossil fuels are further increases in the interest in renewable energy infrastructure. The UK government is considering easing planning for onshore wind, while Norway doubled its sovereign wealth fund’s scope for unlisted renewable infrastructure.

The past week has seen the resumption of live real estate sector events gaining further momentum. Real Asset Media was in Madrid at the Iberian REIT and Listed Conference, in Amsterdam at the ULI Europe Leadership Retreat and it will stage its own CEE summit in Warsaw later this month.

Dan Innes attended the Nordic Real Estate Forum, staged in Estonian capital Tallinn. Other events are imminent too such as the World Retail Congress in Rome, Completely’s Retail Marketplace and ICSC Vegas.

Among the conclusions from the Nordic conference: ESG is central to discussions; the region is not experiencing the work-from-home switch to the same extent as other European countries; public service buildings are emerging as an real asset class of growing importance.

In other news, Savills research which revealed the extent and potential of the life sciences market was given further weight by the announcement that London’s Canary Wharf is to host Europe’s largest commercial life science laboratory in a huge departure for the district.

Axa IM Alts is involved in the new lab via its ownership of Kadans, one of the companies behind the project. Meanwhile, Axa has also announced it is buying a quarter share of the world’s largest offshore wind farm situated off the the Yorkshire coast in the UK.

The significance of such a project was emphasised when Commerz Real revealed that in 2021 its renewable infrastructure generated electricity to power 850,000 homes and saved carbon dioxide that would otherwise take 110 million trees to offset.

Click on the video to watch the full discussion or listen to the podcast below.