The Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) has upgraded its acquisition toolkit to help commercial property owners prioritise sustainability.

The newly launched enhanced Acquisitions Sustainability Toolkit has been created to support commercial property owners in assessing the sustainability characteristics of buildings during the acquisition phase.

BBP said the upgraded toolkit provides a “detailed sustainability checklist” for assessing buildings during due diligence, covering topics including net-zero carbon, climate resilience, environmental regulation and biodiversity. The checklist helps users identify sustainability factors that can affect an asset’s value or necessitate capital investment, guiding them through the right checks at each stage of a deal.

BBP said that, while principally targeting commercial property owners engaged in asset transactions, the update “acknowledges the pivotal roles” of property managers/managing agents, lenders and advisors/consultants in the acquisition due diligence process.”

BPP added: “To support greater alignment and standardisation across the industry, the sustainability investment checklist was also mapped against other relevant resources developed by CREFCE, INREV, RICS and ULI.”

Sarah Ratcliffe, CEO of BBP, said: “Having the right information to inform commercial property acquisition decisions could not be more important as investors seek to manage the risks and opportunities that sustainability presents.

“We hope that this updated toolkit, co-created with our members will provide the industry with a practical tool that aligns with the transaction process, facilitating the timely provision of information and a robust approach to integrating assets and aligning them with portfolio sustainability strategies.”

Brett Ormrod, net zero carbon lead at LaSalle Investment Management and co-chair of BBP’s investor engagement working group said: “Sustainability considerations have become a critical factor in a typical acquisition, and this updated toolkit will provide greater support to, often time constrained, transactions teams and their advisers as they aim to make informed sustainability decisions.”

Julie Townsend, executive director and sustainability lead for Europe and Asia at PGIM Real Estate and co-chair of BBP’s investor engagement working group, said: “The due-diligence process at acquisition is the most important phase for ESG in the lifecycle of an investment – or loan. It is the chance to identify risks, realise opportunities, underwrite associated Capex and business plan for any transition of the asset during ownership.

“The BBP Acquisition Sustainability Toolkit has been evolved and updated to aid navigation of this hugely important process in today’s marketplace.”

BBP is a not-for-profit collaboration of UK property owners who are working together to improve the sustainability of the UK’s existing commercial buildings. BBP currently has 56 members who represent more than £340bn (€398bn) assets under management.

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