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JLL outlines key priorities for real estate sector

Real estate services firm, JLL, has outlined ensuring climate resilience and accelerating the net zero carbon transition, delivering healthy buildings and places, and creating a fair and inclusive society as the priorities critical to transforming the real estate sector and delivering long-term resilience as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis.

In a recent publication, ‘Reimagining real estate: Achieving a sustainable and just recovery’ JLL highlighted that “against the complex backdrop of Covid-19 there has been some cause for optimism, including a continued commitment to sustainability within the real estate sector”, however it is now urging all businesses in the real estate sector to align their strategies with the following priorities:

1. Ensuring climate resilience and accelerating the net zero carbon transition – With the 2020s already predicted to be the decade of net zero carbon delivery, Covid-19 has heightened our collective understanding of risk and the need for rapid action. JLL now considers that businesses need to adopt a total systems approach to net zero carbon; prioritise investment into net zero carbon technology solutions; manage climate risk in underwriting and investing; and finally recognise the social risks from climate change and the absolute necessity of delivering a ‘socially just transition’.

2. Enabling healthy people and environments – As Covid-19 poses fundamental questions about the way we live and work, companies are prioritising their most valuable asset – their people – more than ever. This renewed focus on people’s health and wellbeing should include: the delivery of site level actions to enhance wellbeing; the adoption of an evidence-based approach to wellbeing; prioritisation of investment into technology solutions to deliver well-being performance and a focus on local community well-being.

3. Creating a fair, inclusive and resilient society – Covid-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities and demands for a fair, inclusive and resilient society are rightly intensifying. Organisations must respond meaningfully and transparently and focus on: leading with social purpose; developing a deep understanding of social risks and opportunities; investing to drive impact; and ensuring a genuine commitment to equality and inclusion.

Sophie Walker, UK Head of Sustainability at JLL, said: “When faced with adversity, human nature often delivers amazing outcomes. In 2020 we have witnessed both the fragility of our systems and the incredible warmth of community spirit. With the benefit of hindsight and the experience of this generation living through a global crisis, we must use this time to learn lessons and rebuild our businesses and communities for the sustainable, just society we all want.” 

Chris Ireland, JLL UK CEO, added: “Real estate has a real impact on our everyday lives and will play an even more fundamental role as we recover and adjust to the ‘new normal’. Buildings are where people live, work, shop, eat, socialise and heal. The long lockdown period has demonstrated how much we rely on a healthy and safe home, a supportive community, robust hospitals, and efficient logistics hubs to supply food and goods. The ‘new normal’ must be better, more resilient, more connected and led and supported by strong and committed leadership. In this report, we explore a vision for a sustainable and just world. And we look at the role of the property sector in turning this vision to reality.” 

To view JLL’s report Reimagining real estate: Achieving a sustainable and just recovery click here.

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