- October 1, 2022: Vol. 34, Number 9

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Shades of green: The integration of ESG standards into real estate funds remains a mixed picture

by Steven Devaney, Jane Fear and Maurizio Grilli

Demand for sustainable assets keeps expanding relentlessly. In the real estate market, a progressive decarbonization of portfolios is happening, and an increasing percentage of assets have some sort of environmental labeling.

Yet, at the same time, most investable stock does not comply with the criteria required by investors and tenants. It falls short of upcoming regulations and targets regarding energy efficiency. As a result, some commentators have highlighted the risk of many assets becoming stranded, unleasable to potential tenants, and too expensive to upgrade to an acceptable standard of use. As investors are progressively committing to achieve net-zero targets, these risks have important implications for real estate allocations.

Public policies and guidance are also expanding with the E.U. Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities and the U.N. Principles for Responsible Investment, among others. While Europe is probably the most advanced region in terms of environmen

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