Published by Wybo Wijnbergen on Nov 03, 2021
Sustainability is the hot topic right now. COP26 started this week, and climate change has regained its position at the top of the agenda for many governments and businesses, particularly following the various unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic.
The property industry unquestionably has a critical role to play in tackling environmental issues. From how buildings are developed, through to the ways in which they are managed, maintained and used, real estate has a significant bearing on sustainability. In fact, it currently consumes almost 40% of global energy annually, so it is only right that the commercial real estate (CRE) sector assesses what steps can be taken to accelerate progress in making office buildings and workspaces greener.
To that end, it was interesting to note in the UK Government’s Autumn Budget last week (27 October), that British businesses will now receive tax relief for making improvements to their properties, such as bike shelters or new air conditioning units. Further, additional investment relief will also be provided to encourage businesses to install green technologies like solar panels. Evidently, policies are being implemented to help spur on the improved sustainability of CRE.
Landlords must keep pace with demand
For commercial landlords, improving sustainability will bring with it many benefits. These typically fall into three broad categories: financial savings; brand and reputation; and customer attraction and retention.
Perhaps most obviously, ensuring a building is more energy efficient will lower operational costs.
A commercial property owner’s brand and reputation must be an increasingly important consideration, too. For one, if a commercial landlord owns one or more flexible workspaces, it is vital that the brands these workspaces fall under are deemed to be progressing in the field of sustainability, and that action is being taken to constantly seek out improvements.
Crucially, demonstrating a building’s green credentials will attract prospective tenants. According to the 2020 RICS Global Commercial Property Monitor, for example, 43% of CRE professionals in Europe stated that occupier demand for buildings with Green Building Certifications increased last year.
The What Workers Want Survey noted that environmental performance was an area of deep dissatisfaction for 18–24-year-old office workers. As such, tenants are looking to their commercial landlords with regards to what they expect when they lease a workspace.
How can infinitSpace help office landlords?
Sustainability is a subject that we are passionate about at infinitSpace. And we have a vision for how we can make strides forward in tackling environmental challenges.
Building with more sustainable materials and techniques is key, as is making improvements to existing buildings (everything from insulation and heating systems to installing solar panels or living green walls). But we can also be much more intelligent in the way commercial buildings are used.
By creating more flexible workspaces, companies have the opportunities to create more local hubs, rather than a single centralised office. This allows employees to have a workspace nearer where they live, meaning a reduced carbon footprint when travelling to the office.
Office buildings can also better serve their local communities. By allowing individuals, businesses and organisations to utilise the space and facilities on offer – for example, by using conference rooms to host events outside of traditional work hours – we are maximising the use of commercial space. In doing so, we reduce the need for new buildings, allowing more green space and reducing carbon emissions.
Again, CRE landlords can benefit by creating brands and buildings that are reflective of the needs of both businesses and societies today. They can create attractive, in-demand spaces while maximising the value of their buildings.
infinitSpace exists to help landlords on this journey. From designing and running the space, to engaging with local communities and implementing technology to ensure everyone a great tenant experience. Speak to our team to see how we can help transform your building.