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Progress on the decarbonisation of real estate is being held back by a lack of understanding and collaboration between property owners and occupiers, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute C Change programme. 

The report claims that, if better alignment between the two parties is not prioritised, it has the potential to increase total emissions from the built environment over the medium to long-term. The Occupiers and owners: Faster and further on the pathway to decarbonisation together report argues for a “fundamental questioning of many current working practices and structures”.

The research was based on interviews with heads of real estate for large corporate real estate occupiers from wide range of industry sectors.

Lisette van Doorn, CEO, ULI Europe, said: “This report demonstrates the main issues with collaboration, which are often related to historic ‘transactional’ relationships, variations in decarbonisation objectives and perspectives, and longstanding approaches to areas such as lease structures, contracts, and fit outs, which all need careful reconsideration. 

“At the heart of progress on this topic is that owners and occupiers build a trusted long-term partnership that considers each other’s objectives, which requires each side to be open about their perspectives and the wider concerns faced by each stakeholder.”

The report cites a number of factors hindering progress, including:

Going forward, the report argues for more standardised practices, including in the approach to due diligence for occupiers seeking space, and for ESG considerations to be included as standard in heads of terms with minimum requirements considered as non-negotiable. However, ULI recognises such changes will require education and industry wide commitment.

CBRE has appointed David Maguire as head of occupier sustainability & ESG, continental Europe.

In this new role, Maguire will be responsible for leading CBRE's sustainability services offering for its occupier clients across 22 countries in continental Europe. He will focus on expanding the suite of services the company delivers for corporate real estate occupiers.

He joined CBRE in 2022 from architects Foster & Partners, where he led practice’s corporate ESG strategy as well as sustainable design on some of its projects.