#EXPOREAL Real estate investors accept sustainability is good for business

Investors accept that sustainability is not just good for the planet but also good for business, delegates heard at the PropertyEU Sustainable Investment in European Cities briefing at Expo Real on Thursday.

‘Investors’ thinking has changed and now they look for long-term investments rather than short-term returns,’ said Nicole Braun, asset management, Catella Real Estate. ‘Our sustainable funds are now driven by demand.’

The view was shared by Boris van der Gijp, director strategy and research, Syntrus Achmea Real Estate and Finance: ‘Sustainability is as important, if not more important, than total returns for our clients,’ he said.

‘Sustainability is good for investors’ returns as well, and they are now aware of this,’ said Priscilla Tomasoa, head of corporate communications, Redevco. ‘People want to live in healthy buildings and in cities that do well on the soft factors like heritage and quality of life.’

An example of this trend is Scotland, where the government is committed to a sustainable strategy and in particular to deriving 100% of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

‘This target creates a positive, can-do environment and it attracts companies,’ said Stuart Black, director of development and infrastructure, Scottish Cities Alliance. ‘It is the right thing to do for the planet, but it also brings investors in.’