Real estate, through its construction, use and demolition, is responsible for around 30–40% of global carbon dioxide emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change identified buildings as offering the most significant opportunity for cost-effective emissions reductions worldwide.
Responsible Property Investment (RPI) is an approach to property investing that recognises these environmental considerations. It also explores social and governance considerations alongside financial objectives. It goes beyond minimum legal requirements to improve the environmental or social performance of a property.
About the work stream
The work stream has been working with UNEP FI’s Property Working Group (PWG) since 2007 to explore how the Principles apply to property investment and management practices.
The PRI is working with GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) to improve the quality and consistency of reporting by investors and companies active in the global real estate sector. GRESB and the PRI have worked together to develop alignment and help reduce the reporting burden for organisations in this area. Click here to read the joint letter of support between GRESB and the PRI.
Resources listed may require PRI signatory extranet access.
- Drivers of responsible property investing: Why should investors in property consider environmental and social factors in investment decisions? This paper summarises some of the main arguments articulated in the industry, building on the academic literature review below.
- The environmental and financial performance of buildings: This report examines the key academic research available on the relationship between the environmental and financial performance of buildings. It seeks to provide investors with knowledge of the different ways that the environmental performance of a building can affect its appraisal value, occupancy rates and rental and sale price. It also highlights existing gaps in research on responsible property investing.
- 2011 Property Report on Progress: This report demonstrates the progress of PRI signatories in implementing the Principles in their property investments. The content is based on the PRI’s 2011 reporting and assessment survey.
- Building responsible property portfolios: This reviews current responsible property investing practices and was developed jointly by the PRI and UNEP FI’s PWG. By highlighting international best practice examples from leading PRI signatories and UNEP FI members, the report provides guidance on how the PRI can be applied to property assets.
UNEP FI Property Working Group reports
- Commercial Real Estate: Unlocking the energy efficiency retrofit investment opportunity (February 2014)
- Responsible Property Investment: What the leaders are doing, 2nd ed (2012)
- An Investor’s Perspective on Environmental Metrics for Property (2011)
- Implementing Responsible Property Investment Strategies (2011)
- UNEP FI Investor Briefing on Commercial Real Estate: Unlocking the Energy Efficiency Retrofit Investment Opportunity (March 2014)
- Property investors’ perspective on climate change policy (November 2011)
- Implementing Responsible Property Investment Strategies (February 2011)
- The investors’ perspective on the nature and need for sustainable property metrics (November 2010)
- Academic research on ESG and Real Estate (April 2010)
- Responsible property investing – committing and engaging (December 2009)
- Responsible property investment – Similar aims, different manifestations (September 2009)
- Sustainable Real Estate Portfolios (January 2009)
Previous PRI in Person sessions
- Assessing the impact of energy efficiency in property portfolios (September 2011)
- Responsible Property Investment- from policy to practice (October 2010)
- Responsible property ownership – the scope for tenant engagement (July 2009)
Additional sources of guidance
- An online global database of resourcesfor responsible property investors was compiled by the work stream in early 2012.