The covid pandemic has revealed much about our relationship with the world around us. Our focus on the environment, our capacity to work remotely and the importance of sustainability have all come into sharp relief.
MIPIM’s Leaders Perspective Summit, held 16-18 March, notably included an online version of the Re-Invest Summit, which gave us a unique opportunity to consider current investment insights from some experts in these fields, which we developed into an exclusive report.
Sailing became a life-long passion for Yvan Bourgnon following a round-the-world voyage with his parents as an eight year-old. Later in life he became appalled at the scale of plastic waste in the world’s oceans, and four years ago created Sea Cleaners to address the issue.
Sea Cleaners has commissioned a specially-designed vessel, the Manta, which from next year will collect between 5,000 and 10,000 tonnes of waste plastic from the marine environment.
Bourgnon spelled out out how with covid increasing single-use plastics our view of the material has to change, and that along with governments and society, companies should be at the forefront of such efforts.
Meanwhile the shift towards remote and flexible working arrangements during the pandemic has seen a significant fall in demand for office space.
But over time, demand patterns are expected to be more varied and context driven, argued John O’Driscoll, European Head of Transactions, AXA IM Alts.
The challenge will be to redesign and create safe but attractive workspaces that can draw workers in, as well as more spaces that facilitate collaboration and networking.
Demand for office space is also expected to be influenced by segment (core, core-plus, value-add) and geography (US and Europe versus Asia).
And in a roundtable discussion led by Nadra Moussalem, Managing Director and Head of European Investment Management at Colony Capital, participants looked at the importance of ESG and sustainability in real estate.
The question of ‘green premiums’ was discussed, the consensus being that such premiums will indeed be applied to well-labelled buildings that meet ESG standards.
This would translate to more favourable financing, which in turn could help reduce costs and attract tenants.
And since assets that do not meet certain ESG requirements are unlikely to sell, this could impact investors’ liquidity, meaning that rather than real estate investors shunning old buildings, they should instead acquire and improve them.