EUROPE – European real estate investors are still failing to engage occupiers in their sustainability strategies, with German investors lagging behind their French counterparts, according to a three-country survey of real estate investors by German fund manager Union Investment.

The 165-subject survey found pilots aimed at involving tenants in the UK and France had not been replicated in the German market.

Whereas 70% of French and 40% of UK investors said they planned to introduce 'green leases' – leases that measure performance against specific standards – only 15% of German investors planned to do so.  

One reason is likely to be the significance attributed to occupier behaviour.

Among French investors, 85% rated the impact of tenant behaviour on a building's environmental performance as "significant", compared with 78% of British and just 60% of German investors.

"Users continue to be overlooked as part of the sustainability equation," said the report.

The percentage of European investors focusing on overall portfolio performance – versus the performance of individual assets – has increased from 34% to 38% from last year.

However, only 25% of investors believed evaluation criteria for what counts as 'sustainable' in their markets were sufficiently clear.