EUROPE: ESG data intelligence firm Deepki has published its latest ESG Index, which measures real estate’s environmental performance and energy consumption.
The index, in its second year, collects data from more than 400,000 assets across over 60 types of buildings, to produce a publicly available European benchmark.
According to the index, buildings in the top 15 per cent of the national or regional building stock in terms of primary energy intensity (i.e crude oil, natural gas, solar radiation, wind energy) are considered sustainable investments and serve as a benchmark for the entire real estate sector.
Of the five commercial real estate sectors analysed across Europe, the hotel sector was found to be the only one to see an increase in terms of final energy consumption (ie: the energy delivered to consumers for end consumption) compared to last year.
Deepki said that the increase can be attributed to a rise in occupation as the hospitality industry continues to recover from the impact of Covid-19, but warned that “owners must find new, less energy-intensive solutions to maintain the same level of comfort” as well as improving energy efficiency, and transitioning toward greener energy sources.
The group said that “luxury hotels are the main culprits, due to the nature of the services offered”.
In terms of carbon emissions the hotel and healthcare sectors rank the highest across Europe, with both producing 39 kgCO₂eq/m².
Looking at the UK specifically, the index shows that the hotel sector has seen the largest increase in energy consumption (a nine per cent increase) year-on-year, compared to, for example, the country’s retail sector, which has seen a drop in consumption of 13 per cent, from 250 kWhFE/m2 to 217 kWhFE/m2 year-on-year.
The ESG Index was established in partnership with the IEIF (Institut de l’Epargne Immobiliere et Fonciere), to help real estate players “understand the performance of their assets and meet the challenges of the EU Taxonomy”.
The EU Taxonomy is a classification system that “defines criteria for economic activities aligned with a net zero trajectory by 2050″. This means investments can be directed to those economic activities most needed for the transition to net zero, in line with the European Green Deal objectives.
The ESG Index is recognised at a European level thanks to backing from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Seema Issar, In-Use buildings & sustainable finance manager at DGNB said: “If the industry is to meet its ambitious – but necessary – objective of achieving net zero carbon by 2050, informed decision-making is key. The building sector has a responsibility to take action to tackle climate change, and must come together in doing so. The ESG Index is a perfect example of a collaborative effort to create a reference that can be used by all, for the benefit of all.”
Emmanuel Blanchet, COO and co-founder of Deepki, said: “Our annual ESG Index represents the latest milestone in Deepki’s mission to achieve a more sustainable future for the real estate sector.
“As the only publication of its kind, we hope the Index provides clarity and empowers the European real estate industry to take the steps necessary to achieve its net zero goals.”
In June this year the annual Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index showed that star ratings and type of hotel make a difference in energy and water usage.
Image: Henning Witzel on Unsplash