GLOBAL - A new toolkit to guide investors through the process of investing in property in a sustainable manner has been launched by the Property Working Group (PWG) of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).

Much has been said by the main industry stakeholders about the importance of investing in sustainable real estate, so what does this new toolkit bring to the party?

"Once investors have appreciated the need to incorporate responsible property investment in their processes and want to act, the next question is ‘Where do I start - and how?'", said Paul McNamara, co-chair of the UNEP FI Property Working Group. "These toolkits are designed to show investors how best to move forward in this area - of the next steps they need to take to implement responsible property investment."

The first toolkit - entitled Committing and Engaging- uses case study material to identify the seven main steps organisations need to take to lay down a solid foundation to institutionalise RPI. These steps include understanding the meaning and value of RPI for an organisation, identifying material risks and opportunities, managing and measuring success, and collaborating with stakeholders to develop and mainstream RPI practices.

"Development of the toolkit has been based on investors' experiences of trying to expedite implementation of sustainable investment and sharing best practice," McNamara told IPE Real Estate. 

Given the complexity of the subject matter, to what degree does this toolkit embrace smaller investors?

"I think they will hold RPI in their broad set of aims and objectives and examine how they could pursue the overall principles in a simplified manner," McNamara said.