ESG takes centre stage at PropertyEU event next week

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues in European real estate come under the spotlight in a private event next Tuesday.

The PropertyEU Environmental, Social and Governance Roundtable 2021 will see five companies debate what is currently one of the hottest subjects in the real estate market.

The roll call of investment managers, advisors and consultants is as follows: Allianz Real Estate, CMS Legal, Drees & Sommer, GLP Europe, and Patrizia.

Raphael Mertens, chief risk officer at Allianz Real Estate, will represent the global insurance group, while Edmund Craston, head of fund management, will speak on behalf of Patrizia; Natali Cooper, head of portfolio & asset management – Europe for GLP Europe; Sebastian Orthmann, partner and head of real estate & public for CMS Germany; and Klaus Hirt, partner at Drees & Sommer.

The event - announced today - comes at the same time as various pronouncements demonstrate how far up the agenda ESG has risen.

On Tuesday, global finance house ING said it had acted as lead sustainability structurer and coordinator for GLP’s first sustainability-linked loan (SLL) of $658 mln (€541 mln). This is the largest SLL in the APAC ex-Japan real estate sector. A total of 10 banks participated in the deal.

Edwin Tey, global treasurer of GLP said: ‘We are pleased to announce our very first sustainability-linked loan. The size of the facility is a testament to GLP’s ongoing commitment to driving the sustainability agenda and we are encouraged by the high levels of investor interest. We look forward to using the proceeds of this loan to sustainably enhance our assets and the communities in which we work.’

Green finance is just one of a myriad of topics to be explored at Tuesday’s event.

The classic ESG issue is about buildings’ carbon footprint, since they are responsible for around 40% of global GHG emissions, so participants will discuss to what extent an international approach to reducing this is developing within the industry.

But there is also the ‘S’ in ESG to cover, as participants examine the social elements to property owning, development and asset management.

Within these two broad subjects, participants will debate whether it is possible to balance the interests of different stakeholders; how technology is assisting; whether there is sufficient use of benchmarks; if there is such a thing as a cradle-to-cradle strategy in real estate; to what extent the pandemic has led to any different outcomes; green data centres; whether non-compliant buildings will become a niche investment strategy; and on the political front, what impact is the Euro Green Deal having?

For a full write-up of the event, see PropertyEU’s March issue.