Rents for high street shops and retail parks are positively correlated with their respective energy consumption, according to research by Redevco.

The study of the property company’s pan-European portfolio of 400 retail properties focused on finding a link between energy consumption and leases rather than energy consumption and the properties themselves – with implications for sustainability management and portfolio construction.

Redevco’s high street assets that had high rents per square metre showed higher energy consumption. Those with a low rent per square metre had a low energy intensity.

For retail parks, Redevco found the opposite: high rent per square metre corresponded with low energy intensity.

Derk Welling, head of corporate responsibility, said the research could enable Redevco to uncover a new benchmark or investment market outperformance indicator that “could also prove to be good for the environment”.

Redevco, which has a €6.5bn portfolio, said it began researching energy consumption and its link with real estate financial performance in 2008 – but found little relationship. It launched a retailer sustainability benchmark last year.

Its latest findings, contained within its Responsible Real Estate Investment Report 2013/2014, could have implications for future investment performance, with sustainability becoming a component of asset management.

Welling said: “I think we’ll see a ‘flip-over’ point where future rising energy unit prices will lead to an intense focus on this element of the sustainability and asset management mix.”