The Case for Investing in Sustainable Buildings
by Sam Adams, CEO & Co-Founder, Vert Asset Management
Why Invest for Sustainability in Real Estate?
At Vert Asset Management, our mission is to ‘make sustainable investing easier’. We believe investor choices help shape the world. When more assets are invested for sustainability, more companies will respond with better stewardship and responsibility. When we asked financial advisors how we could make sustainable investing easier, many asked for an environmental, social and governance (ESG) mutual fund that invests in real estate. So we built one, the Vert Global Sustainable Real Estate Fund, and launched it in 2017. At that time there wasn’t a dedicated ESG fund in this asset class, which is surprising, given the many compelling reasons to invest for sustainability in real estate.
Firstly, buildings are a big part of the sustainability challenge, and thus a huge opportunity. “The construction and operations of buildings account for 40% of global energy use, 30% of energy-related GHG emissions, approximately 12% of water use, nearly 40% of waste, and employs 10% of the workforce.” We spend 90% of our time indoors. If we want a more sustainable society and economy, we need to tackle buildings.
Secondly, buildings are a fantastic Triple Bottom Line opportunity. There are plenty of projects where better outcomes for People, Planet, and Profits are simultaneously achievable. Property owners can profit from energy efficiency retrofits and building improvements. Reducing energy use reduces utility bills. Better, healthier buildings typically command higher rents and are worth more.
Third, investor engagement can make a big impact in the real estate sector. There are some Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) leading the way, demonstrating profitability through sustainability, but there are also many who haven’t been taking advantage of the opportunities yet. Investors who demand better performance, highlight best practices, and educate executives can push companies to do more and create impact.
Read Sam's complete article including about Triple Bottom Line Opportunity in Sustainable Buildings; Deep Energy Retrofit; Net-Zero Housing; and more all here - https://greenmoney.com/the-case-for-investing-in-sustainable-buildings
The award-winning GreenMoney has been publishing on sustainable business and impact investing since 1992.