Editor: Commenting on the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) set to come into force on 1 April, the inner London analysis from BNP Paribas concludes that up to 8% of commercial stock is unlettable under new EPC rules.

Donna Rourke, head of ESG and sustainability at BNP Paribas Real Estate, is correct in saying: “Many landlords are still in the dark about MEES changes.”

However, it is not necessarily that real estate owners and operators are unaware of the legislation itself, but instead that many simply do not know how to respond – and respond they must.

After all, the market has shown a clear distaste for greenwashing, particularly in the UK and Europe, which have led the rest of the world with increasingly stringent environmental, social and governance (ESG) regulations, MEES being the latest example. Real estate owners are now expected to show environmental performance data for their buildings that is detailed, accurate and actionable.

This becomes all the more pressing with MEES applying to all privately rented property. It will soon be a sanctionable offence to continue to let a commercial space with an EPC worse than an ‘E’, even in the middle of a lease term.

To make the necessary changes required to comply, owners need to start by better understanding their assets – gathering comprehensive, actionable ESG data. It is only then that they can identify low-performing buildings and take action to make those properties environmentally compliant and, as a result, lettable.

New legislation means it is time for everyone to stop gabbing and start taking action. The days of talking about ESG as an abstract concept, without working towards verifiable results, are over. Gather data, learn from it, apply it and then we will see real outcomes.

Stewart Connors, sales director EMEA, Measurabl