Property investments can provide valuable returns to investors. However, the impact that buildings have on the environment and on the communities in which they are located is often overlooked and taken for granted.
The building environment is responsible for:
- 25-40% of total energy use;
- 30% of raw material use;
- 30-40% of global greenhouse gas emissions; and,
- 30-40% of solid waste generation*
Building new properties that are more sustainable and environmentally friendly makes perfect sense. However, across European Union countries, more than 50% of existing buildings were constructed prior to 1970 and, with an estimated annual replacement rate for commercial buildings of between 1 and 1.5%, most of the buildings that will exist in 50 years’ time have already been built. Even if all new buildings were built to be sustainable from today onwards, there would only be a marginal effect on the environment for many years to come.
Sustainable properties can be viewed as those that have greater durability, adaptability, usability and efficiency. Furthermore, they are properties that are capable of providing enhanced productivity, well-being and economic benefits that can be measured in terms of financial, natural, manufactured, human and social factors.
Aberdeen is committed to working with investors and understanding market demands to identify and manage both the direct and indirect impacts of buildings on the environment and on communities to deliver more sustainable properties coupled with sound investment return.
Given the importance of responsible investment to our business, this year we committed additional resources to the Property Sustainability team and recently recruited a global Head of Sustainability. He will work alongside the existing Sustainability Manager and Director and through our local cross-functional sustainability teams, operating in our key markets of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the Nordics and the UK, our sustainability goals will be delivered across Aberdeen’s core operations.
Aberdeen's five commitments on responsible property investment
Aberdeen is committed to:
- Promoting sustainability in property investment with stakeholders;
- Considering sustainability when setting performance measures and reporting;
- Reviewing sustainability at key stages of the investment, development and asset management processes;
- Engaging with the property industry, with central government, with local government and with other bodies in connection with sustainability; and,
- Including sustainability as a dimension of our professional teams’ continuing professional development.