Clean war, dirty war

It seems the property industry in Europe is concerned with two wars. One is a long-term battle to carry out real estate investment activities in the least harmful way to the environment. That's the clean war. 

As this month's issue reflects, this particular struggle is uppermost in the minds of participants in real estate across the spectrum.

In our latest issue, we feature Caroline Hill of Blackstone, the company's new head of ESG real estate in the region.

We also take a look at GRESB, the green benchmarking company that so many companies are sending their data to in order to obtain a sustainability rating for their assets and portfolios.
Furthermore, inside the issue, you will find an ESG roundtable that we hosted.

It’s an interesting read. During the discussion, all the salient points were made that will no doubt resonate in terms of how peers are approaching environmental, social and governance issues.

We haven't neglected the S in ESG within these pages either. Check out our feature on diversity and inclusion.

In addition to this, we have teamed up with numerous partners who present their own unique story in the context of ESG.

The journey towards net zero carbon is a long drawn-out war that everyone is fighting.
But sadly this is not the only war.

In the last few weeks, another has been occupying the thoughts of our readers and the wider property community.

At press time, the future of Ukraine was hanging in the balance. Russia's invasion has provoked many emotions, including solidarity and empathy. Many from outside the country have expressed their dismay, alarm, regret, and some cases anger at the events unfolding in that nation.

As we have reported, there has been an overwhelming outpouring of support for Ukrainian nationals in this difficult time. It seems to have mobilised participants to speak with one voice just as they are on ESG matters.

I sincerely hope - and it is just a hope - that by the time delegates visit Cannes for the annual Mipim trade show, some peaceful accord would have been reached.

But as I post this, Mipim is only one week away.

If a resolution has not been achieved by then it means that many conversations in the south of France will be couched in terms of war and the effects thereof. The impacts on the world including global economies will trickle all the way down through real estate investing.

Property professionals have had to contend with Covid for two years and as our Outlook 2022 report reflects, they were all looking forward to recovery.

The shape of recovery was unknown, but the spectre of major conflict in Europe the shape today seems to be even less clear today.

Inflation has been a growing concern, and economists have been explaining how inflation may rise further as a result of current events with the significant linked potential of further interest rate rises. That has significant potential impact on property returns, demand, and strategies.
Europe seems to be a tricky place to navigate.

We can only hope for clarity, stability and peace.



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