However, fewer than one-fifth (18%) of businesses surveyed have committed to a net zero target, and only one-third have set some level of interim targets that will help reduce their emissions.
“Real estate developers and investors face major challenges, ranging from finding robust low-carbon construction materials to obtaining energy usage data from tenants who can be reluctant to provide it,” says Ali Razvi, Head of EMEA Real Estate and MENAT Real Assets Investment Banking Coverage at HSBC.
Nonetheless, some businesses are setting the pace, and momentum is increasing. Globally, over one-third (36%) of real estate companies claim they have already published a clearly defined plan to tackle carbon emissions, or plan to do so in the next 12 months. This rises to 50% for European respondents and just over half in the UK.
Breaking down the figures by types and sizes of company, 39% of developers say they have a clearly defined net zero plan versus 28% of investors, while the number is 43% for large businesses compared to just 25% of small firms.
“One would expect the real estate sectors in Europe and the UK to be setting the pace on emissions targets, measuring and reporting because they face tighter environmental regulations,” says David Stephens, Head of Real Estate Finance, London at HSBC UK. “It’s good to see them moving quickly on this, but perhaps even more significant that they are raising the bar for other regions.”