Verdantix North America Commercial Landlord Survey 2021: ESG Strategies

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Executive Summary

This report analyses the factors driving commercial landlord engagement with the ESG agenda and the focal point of their ESG spending over the next three years. It draws on our recent interviews with 50 owner-operator landlords with office and mixed portfolios conducted between August and September 2021. The survey shows that ESG is quickly rising to become a key priority and a driver of investment practices for commercial landlords. In the next 12 months, landlords will focus investment on building certifications and enhancing carbon targets. Over the longer term, commercial landlords will extend investment across stakeholder ESG reporting and enhance due diligence to processes by incorporating climate change criteria. Commercial landlords should use this report to benchmark their ESG strategies and keep track of fast-evolving sustainability programmes.

Table of contents

Commercial Landlord Interest In ESG Intensifies Over The Past 12 Months 
Commercial Landlord ESG Strategies Are Being Driven by Investor Pressure, Risk Management And Tightening Regulations
Building Certifications And Enhancing Carbon Targets Will Be A Focus For The Next 12 Months  
ESG Investor Reporting And Due Diligence Processes Set For Expenditure Increases In The Longer Term

Table of figures

Figure 1. Factors Driving Commercial Landlords To Enhance The ESG Performance Of Their Real Estate  
Figure 2. Commercial Landlords’ Investment Plans Across Eight Sustainability Initiatives  
Figure 3. Lease Structures Offered By Commercial Landlords  

About the authors

Susan Clarke

Research Director

Susan leads the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. Her current research agenda focuses on software solutions for real estate management including integrated workplace management systems and IoT platforms for buildings. Her research expertise also includes a broad range of energy management technologies and energy services. Susan has eight years of experience in technology research. She holds a MSc from the University of London in Sustainable Development.

Ben Readman

Analyst, Smart Buildings

Ben is an Analyst in the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. His research agenda currently focuses on new strategies for corporate energy management and future trends in carbon offsetting markets. Ben Joined Verdantix in 2021 having previously worked as a researcher at CECAN. He holds a Masters in Environmental Strategy from the University of Surrey and a BA in Geography from the University of Birmingham.

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