COP26 will be a catalyst for an even greater focus on ESG across commercial property lifecycles, according to a survey of UK institutional real estate investors and property professionals.

Climate change

Climate change protestors

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The survey, undertaken by real estate ESG data intelligence firm Deepki, found 52% of respondents believed there would be an increased focus on ESG, from design to occupancy, in the property industry, with 48% of respondents stating that retrofitting or addressing the carbon footprint of older buildings is a priority.

In addition, 44% of respondents thought COP26 would encourage more real estate owners to address the poor performance and carbon footprint of their buildings by developing comprehensive environmental strategies.

Some 42% expected an increasing number of older buildings to be retrofitted to improve their carbon footprint, rather than being demolished.

Deepki UK head Katie Whipp said: “Our research shows ESG is proving a force for good for the UK commercial real estate sector, which is responding positively and proactively to the 2050 net zero carbon target. COP26 is a timely and crucial milestone on this journey, providing an opportunity for the sector to collaborate and learn lessons from others.”