Our free access period ends on the 18th April 2022. To find out about membership to Sustain RE, please contact us.

NREP has announced a final close of €3.65 billion for its fifth value-add real estate fund.

The ESG-focused real estate manager said the new vehicle would invest in underserved real estate segments across the Nordics and selected Northern European markets. “The focus is on residential rental properties, modern logistics facilities, care homes and offices, where the company can create value through customer-centric and decarbonising solutions,” NREP said in a statement.

Rune Kock, CEO, NREP, said:“The significant scale of this fund enables NREP to make a meaningful impact through our focus on customer-centric and decarbonising ­real estate strategies, and set a positive example for the industry to follow and ultimately scale. 

“By focusing on structurally supported sectors and demographically driven trends, we have the proven ability to create value across cycles whilst demonstrating the commercial viability of brown to green real estate transition strategies.”

NREP is now part of Urban Partners, a sustainable investment platform with €20 billion in assets under management, which also houses venture capital firm 2150, credit platform Velo Capital, and private equity investor Luma Equity.

The new fund has made 33 investments to date, including the Vällingby Centrum project in Stockholm, which was acquired for an environmental and social sustainability-focused enhancement strategy.

British Land has secured planning approval for an ultra-low carbon logistics hub in Paddington, London. The 121,000 sq ft facility will provide inbound access to HGVs with outbound deliveries via smaller electric vehicles and electric cargo bikes.

The UK real estate investment trust says the new facility will remove around 100 large vans from Paddington’s roads every day, leading to a substantial reduction in emissions compared with the infrastructure previously needed for the deliveries it processes. 

BL has also commissioned two recently-published studies, from UCL and the Centre for London, on urban logistics. Smaller developments, such as the Paddington project, can receive deliveries on a few lorries each day and then deliver on zero emissions vehicles. Such ‘microhubs’ do not need to store goods, only relatively small EVs. 

As well as lowering emissions, use of smaller EVs for last mile delivery reduces noise and congestion and should also cut delivery times. 

Mike Best, head of logistics at BL, said: “The post-pandemic demand for ultrafast deliveries comes with major impacts on emissions, air quality, congestion and road safety, which urban logistics hubs can combat. 

“Replacing traditional vans with sustainable electric vehicles and bikes can deliver carbon savings of up to 90% per parcel alongside the wider positive impact on air quality and wider environment for local communities.”

ESR has launched a 2030 roadmap for sustainability.

The Asia Pacific real estate investment manager said the new ESG 2030 Roadmap built on achievements under the 2025 roadmap, launched in 2020.

Jeffrey Shen and Stuart Gibson, ESR co-founders and co-CEOs, said: “Since the launch of the ESG 2025 Roadmap in 2020, we have taken big strides forward in our ESG journey. We continue to raise the bar on our ESG actions and impact, creating long-term value for our stakeholders.”

Since 2020, ESR, which has $150 billion of assets under management, has installed nearly 100MW of rooftop solar power capacity across its portfolio, exceeding its initial target of 52 MW by 2025. It has also improved the male/female staff ratio to 55/45 from 60/40 and secured sustainability certifications for 39% of its portfolio, as well as securing $3 billion of sustainability-linked loans.

The 2030 roadmap targets include achieving a 50/50 gender balance, sustainability certifications for 50% of the portfolio and creating an ESR Group Foundation programme with an investment capacity of up to US$20 million. 

The most ambitious target is to install 1,000MW of rooftop solar capacity across the group’s portfolio, which has 45 million sq m of gross floor area.

JLL has promoted Helen Amos to the role of head of sustainability for Hong Kong. 

She has over 18 years of experience in the sustainability sector, working for companies including Mace and Cundall before joining JLL in 2020. 

Amos specialises in the development and implementation of decarbonisation targets and strategies for both operational and embodied carbon. 

Alex Barnes, managing director of JLL Hong Kong and Macau, said: "Sustainability has become an important element in the real estate sector and our clients are increasingly taking a building's sustainability into account in their investment decisions as sustainably operated properties perform better in the long term at both the asset and portfolio levels.”

Sustainability was the area most improved in the sub-indices which make up the JLL / LaSalle Investment Management Global Real Estate Transparency Index 2022, but was also the least transparent overall.

The index ranks nations for real estate market transparency on a number of metrics: performance measurement, market fundamentals, governance of listed vehicles, regulatory & legal, the transaction process and sustainability. The UK is ranked the world's most transparent market, followed by the US and France. This year, Japan climbed into the top tier of most transparent markets, boosted partly by its improved sustainability transparency performance.

The sustainability-scoring methodology in 2022 focused on energy reporting, GHG emissions, construction standards, climate risk reporting, green leases and health and wellness in buildings. In sustainability, the US and France lead, with the UK in third place. Singapore, which does not make it into the top 10 for overall transparency, ranks 6th on sustainability.

LaSalle IM global strategist Jacques Gordon said: "With all the new guidelines, disclosure regulations and pledges, it is no surprise that the sustainability sub-index ranks the lowest of all the transparency sub-indices, reminding us of the nascency, complexity and noise surrounding this critical topic.

"Yet, the it is also the most improved, showing that many countries across the world are working through the noise and striving to build the guardrails necessary to measure and influence positive outcomes related to sustainability."

Overall, real estate scored relatively high on green and wellness building certifications and energy benchmarking, but lagged on green leases, emissions reporting and resilient building standards. For example, France is the only nation to mandate green leases.

The report noted that many of the most improved areas in sustainability were focused on carbon and climate change, reflecting the industry's new focus on fighting climate change.

BBVA has invested in Fifth Wall's Climate Fund, which will in turn invest in companies seeking decarbonisation solutions which address the entire lifecycle of buildings.

The Spanish bank said its investment would "help the bank learn firsthand about the most disruptive technologies to fight global warming, while also gaining exposure to the business opportunity that investing in climate tech presents". The amount of capital invested was not disclosed.

Earlier this year, the bank invested $20 million in Lowercarbon Capital, a venture capital fund targeting decarbonisation solutions, particularly in the field of carbon capture.

Proptech venture capitalist Fifth Wall has $3 billion of assets under management and boasts investments from real estate companies such as British Land, CBRE and Kimco Realty Corporation, as well as other investors. The firm was founded in 2016 by former real estate investment bankers Brad Greiwe and Brendan Wallace.