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Sustainable investing: Zero is the magic number


Abigail Dean, Head of Sustainability, talks to PERE about the drive toward a zero-carbon economy and private real estate’s starring role in meeting that target.

PERE: Why is the zero-carbon economy significant for private real estate asset managers and owners?

AD: Regulatory changes are pushing us all down the zero-carbon path. In Europe alone, we’re anticipating changes to building regulations, the wider rollout of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards and the introduction of carbon taxes. Public awareness of the issues is growing and businesses are expected to demonstrate environmentally-friendly policies and practices. Swimming against this tide can cause reputational damage. It’s not a surprise that investors and occupiers are making sustainability a key factor in decision making. Asset mangers must respond and establish a clear pathway toward 'net zero carbon' in order to future proof the value of their buildings: we can safely assume property that is not 'net zero carbon' will become less liquid and less attractive to tenants. They’ll start to lose value and ultimately become obsolete. This is why it matters.

PERE: How is TH Real Estate delivering on this 'zero-carbon' building commitment?

AD: We’ve publicly committed to reducing the energy intensity of our portfolio by 30 percent by 2030, which puts us well on the way to zero carbon. It’s important to establish specific targets for each property in the portfolio. For example, we’ve structured our portfolio into tiers and identified the buildings that require focus. And we’re trialing technologies in these buildings to ensure we achieve rapid carbon reductions. But our sustainability strategy has been in place for over a decade now, so we’ve already seen results in terms of reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint. Renewable energy is another important focus for us and we’re rolling out onsite renewables such as photovoltaics wherever possible.

Sustainable Investing report  Read the full interview 


TH Real Estate is a name under which Nuveen Real Estate Management Limited provides investment products and services. TH Real Estate is an investment affiliate of Nuveen, LLC (“Nuveen”), the investment management arm of TIAA Issued by Nuveen Real Estate Management Limited, 201 Bishopsgate, EC2M 3BN. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. TH Real Estate is a name under which Nuveen Real Estate Management Limited provides investment products and services. 622141-G-INV-O-10/19