3Sustainability in Real Estate Markets

Jorn van de Wetering

3.1 Real estate and sustainability

As the awareness of environmental issues and the perceived need for action to tackle negative environmental impacts has increased, there has been a response from within the property industry, where sustainability has emerged as an area of focus for real estate developers, architects, investors, occupiers and consultants. Driven by legislation and reputational requirements, but also by financial benefits, environmental issues and social issues have become more important in decision‐making processes.

Although there is still a lack of consensus on how sustainability should be defined overall, there are clear drivers that explain why sustainability concerns have gained such a foothold alongside traditional property issues. This chapter investigates how emerging environmental and social issues have fundamentally changed, and are continuing to alter, the outlook for the real estate industry now and in the future, particularly until 2050. It will investigate the rationale for adoption and how these changes have affected the behaviour of key stakeholders, with a particular focus on property investors and property occupiers.

3.1.1 Reputational drivers

Corporate social responsibility or corporate responsibility signifies the adoption of environmental and social elements into business models so that their emphasis shifts beyond the traditional economic focus. It is a way for organisations ...

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