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Almost half of UK office landlords believe the office market is falling behind on environmental policies

New partnership research between infinitSpace and Instant Group exploring the state of sustainability within the UK office market, has revealed that the office market is falling behind on environmental policies.

Key findings from the research include: 

  •  Almost half (47 per cent) of landlords believe the office market is lagging behind other areas of the property sector in implementing/adopting environmental policies
  • The same number say they can’t ‘go it alone’ with 47 per cent of landlords agreeing they need help in shaping environmental policies 
  • Meanwhile, 84 per cent of landlords report a vacancy rate of 30% per cent and above as average among their office building portfolio 

These insights, which come from a survey of 250 commercial landlords with offices in the UK, are the first to come from a new research partnership between infinitSpace, the creator of white-label, tech-enabled, flexible workspaces, and Instant Group, a global marketplace for flexible workspace solutions. 

Conducted independently by Censuswide, the research highlighted a significant knowledge gap in the capabilities of office landlords to shape environmental policies with almost half agreeing that they need help. It also uncovered a pervasive belief that the workspace market is moving too slowly in implementing and adopting environmental policies with 47 per cent of landlords believing the office market is lagging behind other areas of the property sector compared to 20 per cent who do not. 

The findings also revealed the poor state of occupancy across UK offices, itself a major factor in the overall energy efficiency of a commercial building, as 84 per cent of landlords reported occupancy as less than 70 per cent and 53 per cent said their offices were half-empty or less. 

With all 250 landlords asked to identify the current adoption of sustainability policies in place across their office portfolio, the research uncovered a correlation between occupancy and level of sustainable practice. Of those with the most robust set of suitability policies, 56 per cent had offices with an occupancy greater than 70 per cent. 

Wybo Wijnbergen, CEO of infinitSpace, said: “As a sector, the office market is a large emitter of carbon and its transition to net zero will be essential in reaching the sustainable future the planet so desperately needs. But success will be dependent upon understanding and mitigating the challenges landlords face in improving the operations of their buildings. The research partnership we have unveiled today will go a long way to shedding a light on these challenges and where the sector must act. Expect much more to come, the first few results we have released today barely scratch the surface. The real estate sector can play a significant role in safeguarding the future of our planet – now is the time to execute.”

Sam Pickering, Executive Director of Sustainability at Incendium (part of the Instant Group) said: “The corporate sustainability landscape is rapidly changing due to the urgency of the climate crisis, stakeholder pressure, expanding regulations and consumer-driven transparency. The research partnership between The Instant Group and infinitSpace is a step forward for the commercial real estate sector to identify where key stakeholders can start to make a difference.

“Businesses must adapt – starting with landlords and asset owners. A genuine sustainability strategy requires data transparency in order to influence decision makers that can have a true impact on reducing carbon emissions. Our intention with research initiatives such as this one is to forge a strong foundation for sustainable outcomes for all.”

Metro Rod Drainage and Plumbing Survey

With the current economic crisis resulting in higher prices and more of a squeeze on resources, FMs need to ensure that they have robust building and maintenance services in place to control costs and reduce the need for emergency repairs. When it comes to drainage and plumbing there are also the challenges of dealing with extreme weather, from droughts to flooding, the need to meet stringent regulations and to avoid causing environmental damage.

UK drainage specialist, Metro Rod, has launched a survey which explores the main areas of interest for FMs in maintaining drainage and plumbing, including how they currently assess their supply chains to ensure they’re working with partners that meet the highest possible standards and provide value for money.

The results will be published online so that you can see how you compare to others within the sector.

The survey should take just 5-10 minutes of your time, and as a thank you, you will be entered into a prize draw, where one lucky winner will be picked at random to receive a £100 Amazon voucher.

To take part click here.

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