Latest research by GVA points to significant shift in investor sentiment towards green credentials

UK fund managers and investors believe the market no longer views sustainability as a nice to have according to GVA’s fifth Green to Gold survey.

The unique biannual survey questioned UK real estate investors and fund managers on how they view the risks of rising sustainability regulation and market demands.

More than half of those questioned believed the market no longer considered sustainability as just an add on for investors, but rather something that was starting to be or is already considered a key driver of investment performance. Unsurprisingly this belief strengthens among those fund managers and investors with long term investment horizons.

This finding is further emphasised by the fact that 94% had a sustainability policy in place at either the organisation or fund level for the properties and funds they manage. Furthermore, the statistics highlight a major increase in the number of properties being assessed against sustainability criteria. 59% of fund managers and investors have reported that three quarters of their portfolios have been assessed against sustainability criteria, compared with just a quarter in 2012.

David Mace, Regional Senior Director at GVA in Bristol, comments: “Our latest Green to Gold findings are encouraging. What’s clear is that the majority of fund managers and investors believe the industry is moving away from a simple box-ticking mentality.

“Given the scale of policy, due diligence and strategy that appears to now be in place, as well as the growing proportion of existing assets and potential investments being assessed against sustainability criteria, it’s clear sustainability is no longer being treated as an add on, but rather considered as best practice, or the norm. We believe as an industry we have moved beyond preaching to convincing and are moving into an era of acceptance and integration.”

Further findings revealed how 98% of investors undertake some form of sustainability due diligence at pre-acquisition and 50% indicated that they reflect these issues in their investment appraisal calculations.

Once again, like GVA’s previous Green to Gold survey, government regulation is reported as the main driving factor for undertaking a sustainability assessment, with 56% of respondents reporting this as a reason for understanding the sustainability credentials of their assets.