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Gaw Capital Partners has teamed up with Hong Kong utility company CLP Power to boost energy conservation and carbon reduction.

The real estate private equity firm signed a memorandum of understanding with CLP Power Hong Kong and CLPe, the utility company’s sustainability arm.

Energy-saving improvement projects and solar power generation systems have already been installed in a number of shopping centres managed by Gaw Capital and further energy management solutions will be explored, aiming to enhance energy efficiency and drive sustainable development.

Christina Gaw, managing principal, global head of capital markets and co-chair of alternative investments at Gaw Capital, said the MOU represented "a firm commitment of the three companies to continue promoting sustainable development in Hong Kong and other Greater Bay Area cities, striving to create long-term value and returns for all stakeholders, including investors, shareholders and tenants”.

ESR Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and Daimler Truck Financial Services for collaborating on the electrification of logistics in Japan.

The Hong Kong-listed real estate investment manager, which has $29.9 billion of mainly logistics assets under management in Japan, said the first stage of collaboration would be installation of quick EV chargers for Mitsubishi’s eCanter light trucks at its key distribution centres located in the Greater Tokyo Bay.

The electricity for truck charging will primarily be generated by solar power generation equipment installed on the rooftop of ESR's distribution centres.

Stuart Gibson, ESR co-founder and co-CEO, said: “As the transportation industry shifts towards electrification, the need for efficient and reliable charging solutions for trucks at warehouses is paramount. By leveraging our comprehensive warehouse network, ESR is well-positioned to support our customers’ shift towards electric vehicles for logistics.”

The five areas of collaboration will be:

Real estate investors in Asia Pacific are looking for ESG retrofit projects, to develop new green buildings and to create on-site renewable energy, a CBRE survey found.

The broker’s APAC 2024 Investor Intentions Survey found just over 60% of investors, the bulk of which are private equity funds, plan to retrofit existing assets to make them ESG compliant. 

More than half the respondents intend to develop or buy green buildings this year and 40% said they plan to enable on-site energy generation. 

The survey also found investors to be slightly more willing to pay a ‘green premium’ with only 27% refusing to pay extra for a more sustainable asset, down from 30% in 2023. More than 40% said they were prepared to pay a premium of up to 5%, while a quarter would pay 6-10%.

Asset owners should be implementing clear decarbonization and resilience strategies, despite economic headwinds, JLL says.

The broker’s The commercial case for making buildings more sustainable report argues that climate risk, occupier and investor demand and regulation make sustainability investments “the smart decision for longer-term performance”.

The report highlights three reasons for making sustainability investments. Firstly, mounting costs from climate risks, including heatwaves, flooding, storms and droughts, are increasingly impacting urban areas, with significant implications for building owners.

Events such storms, wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, droughts and freezes, have cost $612 billion in the last five years in the US alone. Meanwhile, more than 350 cities have peak summer temperatures above 35°C. An estimated 970 cities will suffer such heatwaves by 2050.

Research by JLL and Munich Re shows that cities in Asia and the US sunbelt have the highest climate risk at present (see above). 

Secondly, sustainability measures are also supported by demand from occupiers and their employees. JLL points to a rental premium for green certified office stock of 11.6% in London, 9.9% across Asia and 7.1% in North America.

JLL also points to a global undersupply of green buildings, with an estimated 75% of demand for such properties unmet in the US, for example. In Europe and Asia, less than half of demand for green office space is met with supply.

Finally, asset owners are at risk of difficulties with financing, regulation and insurance if their buildings fail to meet appropriate standards. Both Europe and the US have released major corporate climate disclosure regulations in the past 18 months and the regulatory burden is set to increase.

An increasing weight of regulation is also coming at city level, with cities such as New York and London introducing their own measures to reduce emissions from the built environment. 

The JLL report suggests a number of measures, including energy-efficiency retrofitting, adapting building design and on-site clean energy generation, to make portfolios more resilient. 

French cleantech firm mylight150 has raised €100 million ($109 million) of new equity to accelerate the expansion of its solar and smart energy management solutions.

The Lyon-based company raised growth capital from investors including real estate investment manager Azora Capital as well as Eiffel Investment Group, Andera Partners and existing investor Elevation Capital Partners.

Founded in 2014 by co-CEOs Ondine and Virgile Suavet, mylight150 aims to make solar power the primary source of energy and reduce the energy bills of European homes and buildings.

The company offers integrated residential solar solutions, bundling proprietary photovoltaic equipment (including solar panels, energy management systems, and EV chargers), digital tools, and energy management services.

Ondine and Virgile Suavet, Co-CEOs of mylight150, said: “With the development of heat pumps and electric vehicles, our technologies are becoming essential to the energy model of the future. We are excited with this investment, that enables the growth of a future champion in a critical sector for Europe's energy sovereignty.”

The Asia Pacific region is making progress on ESG, however this is largely limited to a small number of large companies, interviewees for the 2024 Emerging Trends in Real Estate® Asia Pacific report said. 

Progress on ESG matters is being hampered by two factors, professionals interviewed for the report produced by PwC and the Urban Land Institute, said. Rising costs are making ESG improvements harder to swallow and only a small slice of the real estate industry in the region has embraced ESG.

The report said asset owners are “dialling down carbon efficiency agendas as they focus for the time being on ensuring they are able to get assets refinanced while also delivering targeted returns”.

One respondent said: “There is a small group of Asian property companies who sing the song and are bona fide interested in driving down their carbon. But a lot of them, 90%, I think, don’t find it all that important.” 

While more and more asset owners are collecting data on energy use, few are using it to drive efficiencies or sharing it at C-suite level. 

Interviewees suggested the Asian real estate industry needed more basic messaging on ESG, focusing on: “incremental improvements and looking to educate how ESG-compliant buildings can attract better-paying tenants, improve asset values in the eyes of global investors, and eliminate risk of stranding”.

However, the report found an increased focus on transition risk amongst those surveyed, as well as companies seeking to blend green infrastructure, such as solar PV, with real estate. 

Furthermore, the proportion of respondents declaring they have at net zero policy in place jumped sharply, to more than 50%, up from just over 30% two years ago. 

The full 2024 Emerging Trends in Real Estate® Asia Pacific report can be found here.

CTP has secured €200 million ($213 million) in financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to install solar panels across its European portfolio.

The listed European developer and manager has a 10.9 million sq m portfolio of industrial and logistics properties in Central & Eastern Europe, Germany, Austria and The Netherlands. 

The 10-year unsecured loan will contribute to boosting solar PV capacity across the portfolio to 400MWp by 2026, from 38MWp at the end of 2022.

Peter Ceresnik, chief operating officer, CTP, said: “The European Investment Bank’s financing will accelerate our plans to maximize the solar potential of our portfolio and help us meet our medium-term goal of installing 400MWp by 2026. 

“It will also help us achieve our longer-term vision for our parks to become energy positive, meaning they can produce and share excess renewable energy, benefitting not only our clients and the local communities where we operate, but also the planet.”

Link Asset Management has signed a memorandum of understanding with CLP Power Hong Kong and its renewable energy subsidiary CLPe to collaborate on energy efficient solutions in Link’s development projects in the China’s Greater Bay Area (GBA).

The Hong Kong real estate investment trust manager currently works with CLP in its home city and will now expand that relationship into the cities of the GBA in Southern China.

The two companies will explore collaboration opportunities such as energy management solutions, the acquisition of sustainability-linked loans, EV charging facilities and replacing diesel generators on construction sites.

In Hong Kong, CLP has installed energy efficient cooling systems in 21 Link REIT shopping arcades and installed solar PV panels at 14 assets. 

Link chairman Nicholas Allen said: “This MOU strengthens our shared commitment to a low-carbon, sustainable future. The two companies will collaborate on a variety of energy-saving and electrification initiatives across Link’s diverse portfolio, laying the groundwork for impactful emission reduction and deepening our cooperation.’”

MAPP has launched a new sustainable energy procurement services arm. 

The UK consultant and property manager announced the launch of Energy by MAPP, which will help clients secure renewable energy for their assets. The business line will be led by MAPP executive director of sustainability Rowan Packer.

Clients of the new business include Pioneer Group, a developer and operator of life science and technology campuses across the UK. MAPP brokered a rolling two-year virtual corporate power purchase agreement (CPPA) with Ray Valley Solar, an Oxfordshire-based solar farm. Under the agreement, four locations from the Pioneer Group portfolio will source green electricity from a single, dedicated solar PV farm.

CPPAs are fixed-priced, long-term electricity contracts which help enable renewable power providers to invest in new renewable power generators. 

Nigel Mapp, founder and chairman, MAPP said: “We are continuously looking for ways that we can help our clients deliver their net zero carbon pathways and ESG strategies; providing an optimal sustainable energy choice is a key part of that.”

ESR Group has formed a renewable energy partnership with Australian company Solar Bay.

The partnership will enable the Asian real estate investment manager to meet demand from its customers for renewable energy solutions, deploying up to A$500 million ($320 million) over the next ten years to deliver up to 50MW of solar panels, 300MW of battery storage capacity and EV charging infrastructure.

The partnership will facilitate the installation of renewable energy infrastructure across ESR's 4.1 million sq m industrial and logistics portfolio and 2.3 million sq m development pipeline. 

ESR Australia CEO, Phil Pearce, said: "It is imperative for ESR to future-proof its assets with consideration of environmental sustainability, and this significant investment into renewable energy infrastructure across our growing portfolio will ensure the continued viability of our operations and those of our customers.

"Our customers' energy requirements have grown significantly due to the uptake of electric- powered automation and are set to grow with the further adoption of technology and the take up of electric vehicles. ESR Australia will work closely with our customers to provide bespoke energy solutions with a view to offering savings of up to 50% on their energy bills with retail providers.”