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Trends in ESG become important criteria for commercial real estate investors

The landscape of commercial real estate investment is rapidly evolving, and one of the most significant transformations is the shift of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations from mere trends to critical criteria. ESG factors have seeped into every facet of modern life, and the commercial real estate sector is no exception. In fact, ESG has gone beyond being a moral obligation; it has become a powerful tool for investors to not only contribute to a sustainable future but also to enhance their own profitability and competitiveness.

ESG: Beyond a Passing Trend

The adoption of ESG standards by investment management firms is a clear indication of a paradigm shift in the commercial real estate industry. According to PGIM, over two thirds of these firms have integrated ESG factors into their investment criteria. Environmental considerations have taken centre stage among these factors. This shift can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including heightened environmental awareness, regulatory pressures, and a growing demand for responsible and sustainable investments.

Flight to Quality and ESG

The rise in the integration of ESG factors is also related to a market-wide "flight to quality." Investors have recognised that properties with strong ESG credentials will hold higher values and be more stable over time. A building that is environmentally friendly, as well as financially resilient, can have energy-efficient designs and use sustainable practices. These properties experience lower operational costs due to energy savings, which, in turn, leads to higher profit margins.

The profitable side of ESG

Embracing environmentally friendly investments doesn't just stem from a desire to be eco-conscious; it's also a sound financial decision. Energy-efficient buildings are cost-effective to maintain, yielding significant savings over time. Moreover, reducing energy consumption and waste can lead to improved tenant satisfaction, which can result in longer lease tenures and decreased vacancy rates.

ESG certifications, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and Green Star Rating System can open doors to new investment funds and exclusive lending opportunities. These certifications act as signals to potential investors and lenders that a property is aligned with sustainable practices and has lower risks associated with environmental liabilities.


The transformation of ESG considerations from trends to vital criteria for commercial real estate investors marks a pivotal moment in the industry. An investment's potential is now evaluated based on environmental, social, and governance factors.
Beyond fulfilling a moral obligation, environmentally responsible investments can yield substantial financial gains. The benefits of prioritising ESG considerations are substantial, from cost savings to exclusive funding and long term quality tenants.