FORE Partnership, the purpose-driven, transformational real estate investment firm, has officially become a B Corporation, the global marker of businesses that balance profit with purpose.
This puts FORE among a very select group of UK real estate businesses to have meet the rigorous social and environmental standards required to achieve B Corp certification.
As part of this process, FORE has legally committed to pursuing purpose beyond profit. FORE joins a global community of firms committed to harnessing the power of business to help address society’s greatest challenges and to build a more inclusive economy.
Achieving B Corp certification, which is administered by not-for-profit organisation B Lab, follows on from FORE’s industry-leading commitment to achieve zero carbon by 2025 – five years ahead of the wider industry target set by the World Green Building Council and well in advance of the UK’s 2050 goal – and underscores FORE’s commitment to using real estate as a tool to generating positive social and environmental impact.
Basil Demeroutis, Managing Partner, FORE Partnership, said:
“Ever since we set up the business nearly a decade ago, our vision has been to achieve higher investment returns in real estate by supercharging positive social and environmental change. Becoming an officially certified B Corporation underlines our mission to align our purpose, impact, culture, and brand. We’ve codified our values in our own corporate governance and made binding commitments to consider the impact of our decisions on our staff, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.
“I am proud to be joining other passionate business leaders worldwide that are driving a global movement of people using businesses as a force for good. Property is the stage on which many of our greatest challenges as a society play out, and yet has not worked hard enough to help solve them. Now more than ever, we have to recognise our role as a critical part of the urban system, and to drive system-level transformation in order to achieve a just, low carbon, socially inclusive built environment. This surely must be the future of real estate.”
Charmian Love, Co-Founder and Chair of B Lab UK, added:
“We are delighted to welcome FORE Partnership to the B Corporation community. We are a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates, who believe companies can and must be a force for good. We know that FORE Partnership is going to be a fantastic addition to the B Corp community and will seize this moment to drive forward a more moral kind of new economic system.”
There are currently over 400 certified B Corps in the UK and more than 3,500 worldwide, including well-known brands such as The Guardian, Innocent, Patagonia, The Body Shop, and organic food pioneers Abel & Cole.
FORE joins Igloo Regeneration, Bridges Fund Management, Joseph Homes, and Newcore Capital as a select few UK property companies to achieve B-Corp status.
Obtaining B Corporation certification is a rigorous process, often taking over a year, and encompasses a detailed, comprehensive evaluation of the entirety of a business’ operations. It covers five key areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers.
The certification process requires applicants to provide evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices relating to energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency. To complete the certification, the company legally embeds their commitment to purpose beyond profit in their company articles.
FORE was originally set up by a team out of Capricorn Investment Group, the family office of eBay’s first president and billionaire philanthropist Jeff Skoll, in 2012, with a vision to drive financial returns by deeply embedding environmental and social impact in its real estate strategy.
Since inception, FORE Partnership has acquired more than one million square feet of commercial and residential property with a with a forecast exit value of more than £650m on behalf of private and institutional investors from Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East.
FORE’s first acquisition, 58 Victoria Embankment in London, was purchased for £6.8 million and sold to the innovation foundation NESTA in 2016 for £51 million after a comprehensive redevelopment.
FORE earlier this year achieved planning permission for TBC London, a 110,000 square foot forward-thinking work environment that will be 100% electric and zero carbon in operation, making it one of the UK’s most sustainable offices. FORE is also bringing forward Cadworks, one of the few Grade-A office buildings in Glasgow’s pipeline, which will be one of Scotland’s most sustainable and cycle-friendly buildings.
Recently completed projects include Windmill Green, an 82,000 square foot ultra-sustainable workspace in Manchester, which is the first multi-let office in Manchester to be rated BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and recently won the BCO award for the Most Innovative building in the northwest of the UK.
FORE also recently opened its first co-living project, The Italian Building in London, in partnership with Mason + Fifth and is exploring further opportunities in the co-living sector. Other notable projects include Geisberg Berlin, a stunning restoration of a listed building in Berlin into a residential block which was the first historic landmark residential building to receive DGNB ‘Gold’ certification anywhere in Germany.