Monday, 3 February 2014

“The Business Case for Sustainability” Part 3: The Owner Perspective

Written by Graeme Murray
Head of Sustainable Engineering, Building Consultancy, UK

What is driving owner/investor interest in sustainability?

Owners are primarily motivated by compliance with current and anticipated legislation such as the European Performance of Buildings Directive. Occupier demand is also playing a part as major corporate tenants expect higher standards of energy efficiency and sustainability features.

What trends are emerging?

The market has been slow to respond to sustainability over recent years hence the need for government to legislate to stimulate interest.  Uncertainty still exists in many countries due to “mixed messages” and indecision e.g. The UK Carbon Reduction Commitment changes or, Spain’s taxation regime around solar energy, which has resulted in some investor caution.

However, informed owners and investors are now starting to consider sustainability risks in their broader business decision making, taking into account the introduction of minimum energy efficiency standards and rising operational costs.

What is the next big thing that our clients need to be aware of?

Working in the UK it’s all about legislation, for example the Energy Act 2011 will introduce Minimum Energy Performance Standards from 2018 onwards forcing clients to manage risk and where necessary implement improvements. Our clients are operating in a very complex legislative environment.


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