The second episode of Property Week’s Get Set for Net Zero podcast series centres on the theme of collaboration. PW editor Lem Bingley is joined by Edward Hughes‑Power and Sarah Spurling of Mishcon de Reya, Yetunde Abdul of UKGBC, and Lindsay Taylor of Deepki to discuss the opportunities and difficulties presented by the need to work together to reach shared environmental goals, including practical steps, proven initiatives, contractual approaches and missteps to avoid.
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Collaboration is something that everyone agrees is crucial to meet net zero targets, but just what that entails is more difficult to pin down. The guests begin by discussing exactly who should be collaborating – and perhaps most important in the world of real estate is the relationship between owner and occupier.
Edward Hughes-Power, partner in the commercial real estate team at Mishcon de Reya, argues that any green lease agreements need to be worked out well before the beginning of a tenancy.
“Before you enter into the lease, the landlords and tenants need to talk to each other, because I suspect the landlords are going to come from a position of knowledge and there’ll be some sophisticated tenants out there who really understand their net zero targets and how they achieve them, but there’ll be others who won’t,” he says.
Implementing green-linked leases, however, requires a clear system of benchmarking in order to be achievable – as Lindsay Taylor, UK head of delivery at data intelligence platform Deepki, points out.
“It’s a two-way communication,” she says. “And it starts with the base energy data to understand the shape of not just the tenant space, but the overall building, so that then overall targets can be set. You then collaborate together to actually make the decisions of what investments are required.”
From the perspective of Yetunde Abdul, head of climate action at membership organisation the UK Green Building Council, any such collaboration needs to be based on mutual trust.
“It could be through tenant engagement meetings, it could be when the green lease agreement is being negotiated, but ultimately building trust makes communication and education much easier, and both parties can look at it as an ongoing partnership,” she explains.
Visit the UKGBC website’s Events and Courses area for more examples of industry collaboration.
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