Sustainability has been a part of our lives for some time and our understanding of it and how it impacts on our lives is evolving. All our resources are becoming more precious.
As the global population expands and technology infiltrates our lives, it’s not just fossil fuels that are in short supply, it’s our time. How do we find time to do something for our own health? Our jobs are increasingly demanding, and when we do get a few minutes to ourselves, how do we use them? All too often crouched over a mobile phone, thinking that we are relaxing – but mostly failing.
So should we be worrying less about how modern life is having an increasingly negative impact on our wellbeing (1 in 3 will suffer from anxiety, depression or panic attacks), and worrying more about green energy incentives and planning for wind turbines? Or the other way around?
Some years ago green credentials in the property real estate sector were based on a small number of fundamentals such waste management, recycling and energy supplier. Today our understanding of what makes a building sustainable also includes giving thought to things such as how it engages us and impacts on our wellbeing.
This more rounded and balanced way of looking at sustainability can only be a good thing, not just for our planet, but also for us.
The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), the “Oscars of the property world”, is a global yardstick for property investors and fund managers to see how an asset is performing. Since its introduction in 2009, this scoring system has evolved, and its impact on the value of assets has increased as savvy investors look for the best option.
Today a massive 25% of this sustainability score is based on Stakeholder Engagement (the joint largest weight of seven categories), in other words how sustainable an office building or shopping centre is depends to a large extent on what it does for the people who work with them. It used to be that an office was just somewhere to put a desk, but now we know that the offices (and retail & industrial units) most sought after by occupiers (and therefore investors) are the ones that provide a balanced lifestyle for those within.
Commercial property landlords and asset managers are primarily concerned with the bottom line and that means managing voids to best effect whilst trying to keep and attract happy tenants. Yin Yan is a gift for the businesses and people who work in a property, making them healthier and the property more sustainable – a real win-win, and a very ancient solution to a modern problem!