London Conference 2005

The London Conference, entitled “ The Move Towards Sustainable Property Development in Europe “ was held at The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors on April 6 2005. The Conference was attended by a full house of over 150 international delegates drawn from all major Stakeholder Groups. The Conference Programme is presented in this website.

The main conclusion of the London Seminar was that the property sector’s leading players are becoming increasingly aware of the acute need for adopting corporate sustainability principals and for progressing toward the development of a sustainable property sector in Europe. Companies in the property sector recognise that increasing pressure from legislators, financial markets and end users, who are all striving to equate property development withtheir own Sustainability Agendas, will generate both risks and opportunities for their organisations.

Legislators are, on the one hand, striving to create laws, rules and norms which will compel property investors and developers to adopt principles which progress the cause of a sustainable property sector. At the same time, legislators recognise that legislation is a clumsy and difficult tool to administer and that a proactive dialogue and collaboration with other Stakeholders is, if it can be made to work, the best way forward for all parties.

As for Financial Markets, many influential Equity Analysts are recommending investment in stocks in sustainability-driven companies within the European property sector. This means that property investment and development companies not adopting sustainable principles will suffer through falling demand for their shares and, therefore, falling share prices. Here again, dialogue is considered the answer.

End Users – Tenants – will increasingly choose those properties for rent and purchase which comply with their own Sustainability Agendas. This applies, particularly, for companies listed on the Stock Exchange. The increasing environmental and energy classification of buildings in Europe as well as, for example, The EU Directive “ Energy Efficiency in Buildings “ will introduce a strong element of important certification into the property sector. This will focus tenant’s / purchaser’s attention on energy and sustainability and influence the relative attractiveness of properties and, therefore, the market value of property stocks..
A major conclusion of the above, is that sustainability-driven property companies will benefit through increased demand for their properties, through the avoidance of penalising legislation and through increased investment from equity markets.

The general consensus of the London Seminar was that ESPRO will play an important role in accelerating the drive towards a sustainable property sector in Europe.

The next ESPRO Conference will be held in Stockholm during the autumn of 2005 followed by a conference in Brussels during the Spring of 2006.

The Stockholm Conference will be held at Rosenbad; the Swedish Government Headquarters. Speakers will be drawn from prominent representatives of a variety of European Governmental Bodies, property investment organisations, professional institutions and The European Commission.