One of the most important factors for decision making in any business these days is understanding and complying with ESG standards. If a company wants to grow and be successful, it should follow the needs of customers and investors much more than ever before, said the experts of the ESG panel at Bratislava Property Forum 2022.
ESG stands for environmental, social and governance standards for a company's operations. Meeting its criteria is a top priority for all businesses these days, explained Martin Polák, the moderator of the discussion and Managing Director CEE at GARBE Industrial Real Estate.
According to Hubert Abt, CEO, New Work & workcloud24, investors these days are saying that ESG topics are more important than ever before. The whole process started slowly with green certifications and by now the focus is not on the building itself but rather on customers. A change in business culture is taking place around us as a result.
There is another aspect of ESG that we should keep in mind: the fact that it’s a concept that changed our entire industry, emphasised Angelus Bernreuther, Head of Investor Relationship Management at Kaufland. For example, now we can witness interactions between tenants and landlords that you have not been able to see before. Based on that, we have to take care of what is sustainable in terms of how we operate buildings and how we sell them. This is a big new part of investing compared to the previous period. Now it is much more important how you deal with the environmental and social issues, how you educate and interact. And it is especially visible for local level customers added Bernreuther.
All these changes have also influenced both sides of the business. With the start of the pandemic, both tenants and investors have changed their expectations and needs, continued Stanislav Pagáč, Country Head Slovakia at CTP. He also underlined the fact that both groups are now often considering the difference between carbon and non-carbon buildings, building locations and the operational neutrality of the company.
Nevertheless, it is a very complex topic that starts with the energy used – the priority topic is to reduce the energy demands of the buildings and the second is what kind of energy is being used, continued Martin Stohl, Member of The Board of the Slovak Green Building Council.
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