Green my portfolio, please?
This collaboration brings together the global market leaders in U.S. real estate indexing, REIT (real estate investment trust) market expertise and environmental building standards. The indexes, currently in the final stages of implementation prior to customer use, will give investors a way to measure and model the risk and reward profile of green property, using the first codified, transparent definition of listed green property. They will also provide investors with new ways to incorporate principles of sustainability into their property selections and portfolios, and access this investment theme through index-linked financial products.
The new family of green property indexes will be based on the market’s leading benchmark for U.S. real estate, the FTSE NAREIT Index Series, using green data (LEED and Energy Star ratings) from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“To date, no comparable benchmark has been available," said Mark Makepeace, CEO of FTSE Group. "We’ve already received expressions of interest from many large asset owners concerned about their exposure to a rapidly changing sector directly affected by the transition to the low carbon economy.”
The FTSE global REITs universe represents $1.07 trillion today. U.S. REITs account for 48% of this universe, valued at $512 billion.The green property indexes are based on the analysis of 13,126 LEED and 18,402 Energy Star projects that have received third-party certification based on their green achievements and performance. These projects represent 4.7 billion square feet of commercial real estate. The USGBC certifies an average of 1.5 million square feet of additional property per day.
Mitigating and adapting to climate change, resource depletion and environmental erosion are some of the biggest challenges for the 21st century and will be major structural drivers of economic change. Because of this, a growing number of investors are seeking to understand how their portfolios will be affected and how they can reduce their risk.
The global building and construction sector is a good example of this change. It consumes a significant proportion of the world’s key resources, making it highly exposed to the risks and rewards associated with the transition to a lower-carbon economy. The sector accounts for at least 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. Buildings and construction materials use 3 billion tons of raw materials per annum (40% of total global use) and account for 55% of the wood cut for uses other than fuel. Buildings are one of the heaviest consumers of natural resources and account for a significant portion of the greenhouse gas emissions that affect climate change. In the United States, buildings account for 38% of all carbon dioxide emissions and represent 73% of U.S electricity consumption.
"Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future demand for energy in the United States and a commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million jobs," added Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of USGBC. “The sector has seen incredible growth and is projected to add $554 billion to the U.S. economy each year. This partnership creates significant investment opportunities for those ready to participate in this growing market.”