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Department for Real Estate and Planning is Part of Successful Bid for the Investment Property Forum Research Programme

The increased role that environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors play in influencing investment decisions presents key challenges to the property industry, particularly within the context of increased internationalisation of real estate investment funds. This is an area that has seen rapid development in recent years and, consequently, there are substantive differences between organisations and across regions regarding the ESG metrics, benchmarks and applications. This could affect the approach of international investors to benchmarking and lead to different measures being adopted for different markets. Integrating ESG factors into real estate investors’ decision-making processes is a key ingredient of investment decision-making going forward. Measures such as gender diversity, employee turnover, gender pay ratio, human capital management, supply chain management, governance and board competence are important dimensions of ESG; developing appropriate and consistent metrics to benchmark ESG performance will be key to enabling informed investment decisions within the international real estate industry. This research project, recently funded by Investment Property Forum, will provide a comprehensive and critical analysis of existing ESG benchmarks, and consider their potential evolution in terms of future use and applications. In identifying measures currently in use, the policies and practices of a wide range of European and global real estate investors, real estate companies/REITs and fund managers will be assessed. Professor Anupam Nanda and Alex Moss are working with Professor Graeme Newell (lead researcher) of Western Sydney University, Australia in this project.

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Published 22nd March 2019