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Property Management and environmental responsibility in buildings

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Property Management is at the heart of the landlord-tenant relationship. For both owners and users, it develops innovative solutions based on the monitoring of building data and the analysis of reliable indicators to help improve the energy and environmental performance of buildings.

In France, the building sector is the most energy-intensive sector: it accounts for 43% of energy consumption. It is also the source of 30% of annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at national level. In order to contribute to the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, as set out in the Paris Agreement, the construction and real estate industries are establishing ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) strategies to ensure that all real estate assets (offices, logistics warehouses, shops, housing) are bound by the principle of a sustainable economy. Nevertheless, this evolution towards more responsible buildings will not be achieved without the commitment of building owners and tenants, who also have every interest in committing to an environmental approach.

Environmental responsibility with an ESG approach

Today, many investors are adopting an ESG approach to guide their property investment strategy. By integrating ESG sustainability criteria into their investment decisions, investors ensure that risks related to building obsolescence, space and building reversibility, climate change and market risks are taken into account.

For owners, the environmental component of an ESG strategy within a building concerns the environmental impacts of the operation of the property assets and their occupancy, but also the consequences produced by the construction work.

An environmentally responsible CSR policy

Many companies have adopted a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) approach in order to integrate the three components of sustainable development into their organisation: environmental, social and economic. In this way, the tenant responds to the growing concerns of its employees for environmental issues. CSR commitments can sometimes even become an argument to attract and retain talent. According to a Korn Ferry study, 83% of employees involved in a CSR company initiative would recommend their employer.

Whether this is in response to an ESG investment strategy, an owner-investor campaign or a CSR initiative carried out by a tenant company, the role of Property Management is to be the single point of reference and to implement the actions that will concern the building.
 

Environmental responsibility on the building’s level

Environmental concerns for a building encompass a number of subjects: energy, carbon impact, waste, biodiversity, mobility and resilience to climate change.

Energy and real estate

For a building, the control of energy is based on the reduction of energy consumption, energy supply and the improvement of energy performance.

Energy and real estate

  • 179 kWh EF
    average energy consumption of an office building
  • 20-35% greenhouse gas emissions
    of a building come from its energy consumption

Carbon impact and real estate

Carbon impact concerns the direct or indirect greenhouse gas emissions caused by the construction and operation of a building. This includes energy consumption, transport (of employees to the offices for example) and construction materials.

For the building sector, the European directive on energy performance, revised in June 2018, aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 80 to 95% in 2050 compared to 1990.

Waste management and real estate

The circular economy concept is central to the issue of resource management. It is particularly illustrated during the construction or renovation phase of a building by the sorting and recovery of site waste and the reuse of materials or office supplies.

Biodiversity and real estate

For the real estate sector, the challenge of protecting biodiversity means reducing the impact of buildings on the surrounding ecosystems and raising the awareness of building occupants.

Mobility and real estate

Mobility is an issue at several levels: locating the office or residential building near public transport, promoting soft mobility among occupants (bicycles, carpooling, etc.), developing remote working.

Office greenhouse emissions

  • 45 to 60%
    of an office building's greenhouse gas emissions come from the commuting and business travel of employees

The role of Property Management

When mandated by an owner-investor or a tenant company, Property Management assists the client in defining actions with an environmental impact and in their operational implementation (choice of service providers, site monitoring, deliverables).

Property Management's role in energy and carbon issues

The Property Management teams can carry out an energy audit to identify energy-intensive items. An energy performance contract (EPC) can be signed between the owner and the operator to identify actions to reduce the building's energy consumption. A portion of the profits is set aside for the continuous improvement of the building's energy performance. Finally, it can manage the green lease committee which brings together the owner and the tenant in a joint effort to save energy.

Property Management can carry out a carbon assessment of buildings on the energy of the building itself (common and private areas), mobility (home-office travel, travel by suppliers, delivery staff, sales staff) and products related to operations (paper, equipment, material to run an office). The owner or tenant can then choose on which perimeter they wish to work in priority.

Citylights

Citylights

For the Citylights office building, located in Boulogne-Billancourt, energy consumption decreased by 18% between 2018 and 2019, thanks in particular to the implementation of an energy performance contract under the leadership of BNP Paribas Real Estate Property Management.

Find out more

Between 2018 and 2019, BNP Paribas Real Estate Property Management supported BNP Paribas Asset Management in the implementation of a waste sorting policy.

  • Improvement in sorting at source from 42% to 59%

  • Increase in regulatory compliance from 95% to 100% (e.g. toxic waste)

  • Improvement in the recycling rate from 35% to 51%.

Source: BNP Paribas Real Estate Property Management

 Property Management's biodiversity role

Property Management assists owners and tenants in mitigating the impact of real estate on biodiversity and increasing the well-being of employees through biophilia.

Property Management's mobility role

The Property Management teams support tenant companies in the implementation of their corporate mobility plan: promotion of alternative modes of transport (concierge service for bicycles, provision of electric bicycles), implementation of a carpooling application, proposal of training in eco-driving.

Getting your building certified

BNP Paribas Real Estate Property Management has assembled a team of in-house experts specialising in the certification of existing buildings: BREEAM In-Use, LEED EB and OM, HQE Exploitation, ISO 50001, ISO 14001.

Supporting you in defining your environmental strategy

BNP Paribas Real Estate Property Management has organised its range of services to enable owners and tenants to respond to all the environmental challenges of a building and in particular to meet regulatory obligations.

The tertiary sector decree is one of them. Coming into force in October 2019, it is aimed at all owners of an existing building for tertiary use with a surface area of over 1,000 m². The text requires them to draw up an action plan to reduce the energy consumption of buildings by -40%, -50% and -60% by 2030, 2040 and 2050. To do this, they must collect data related to energy consumption and use and publish it annually on a dedicated digital platform.

BNP Paribas Real Estate Property Management assists property owners in implementing the tertiary sector decree, from conducting an energy audit to managing the action plan.

 

Sources: OID, BPE 2019, OID, BPE 2018, IDO, GHP 2018, BNP Paribas Real Estate Property Management