Hillbreak was privileged to be invited to participate in the inaugural GRESB Spring Conference at Siemens’ inspiring building, The Crystal (dual-rated BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Platinum), in London earlier this month. Miles Keeping, co-founder of Hillbreak, was asked to join the first panel of the day, to discuss Climate Risk & Resilience, a session moderated by Sarah Ratcliffe of the Better Buildings Partnership. Specifically, Miles was asked to provide a challenge to the industry on what more needed to be done to ensure that climate factors are better incorporated into investment and asset management decisions, and professional practice across the sector more broadly.
That’s not the sort of invitation that needs extending to us twice! We were more than happy to oblige with a no-punches-pulled provocation to a number of key industry actors: investors; owners and managers; vendors; and industry bodies. Our headline messages to each are stated clearly in our short slide-deck, which you can view by clicking on the image below. The headline warning to all concerned was that disinterest in climate risk now amounts to a form of professional negligence and/or incompetence; those failing to give it due regard or demonstrate the capabilities necessary to address it are simply not providing the duty of care that is required of them.
Miles was joined on the panel by Professor Sven Bienert from the University of Regensberg, who discussed his research for the Urban Land Institute on climate change and extreme weather, their effects on property values and the so-far inadequate response of the real estate sector to factor these into strategic asset allocations. Tatiana Bosteels, Director of Responsible Investment at Hermes Investment Management, discussed a number of key industry initiatives which have sought to bring better decision-making frameworks to bear in the market, whilst Andrew Rich, Fund Manager for TH Real Estate‘s flagship European Cities Fund, talked candidly about how sustainability and climate risk are integrated into the Fund strategy and its decision-making processes.