One Temple Quay Bristol

Ten trends for a Zero Carbon World – Avison Young


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Ten Trends for a Zero Carbon World,  a report from real estate adviser Avison Young, takes a hard look at how actions to address climate change are impacting the development, investment and occupation of real estate. A key component of the wider Environmental, Social and Governance debate, decarbonisation has wide-ranging implications for the economy, society and the built environment. 

The trends that the report covers, includes:

  • How cities are leading the way on tackling climate change. Cities account for a vast proportion of global emissions and are often most exposed to the consequences of climate change. City governments are at the forefront of action to reduce emissions and mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events, with significant implications for real estate.  
  • The climate agenda meets the War for Talent. The post Covid labour market is in a state of flux, with plentiful job openings and record numbers of resignations. Companies’ ESG credentials are set to play a key role in attracting and retaining talented young workers who believe their employer should have a social and environment conscience.
  • The retrofit revolution. The reduction in emissions needed to meet global decarbonisation targets can only occur by improving the environmental performance of existing building stock. In most cases that requires structural improvements, which presents challenge and opportunities in equal measure.
One Temple Quay Bristol

One Temple Quay

Paul Williams, Director, Avison Young in Bristol can see these trends coming to the fore in Bristol’s commercial markets. He says,   

“Whilst office vacancy rates in Bristol have increased over the past two years as a result of falling occupancy during the pandemic, overall demand is now rising as more people are returning to the office following the lifting of covid restrictions, and current availability of circa 6% remains low by historic standards. Developments currently under way to deliver more than 600,000 sq ft of new Grade A office space in the city centre will only partially rectify the situation, as evidenced by the fact that a significant proportion of the space under construction has already been pre-let.

“With record headline rents in excess of £40.00 per sq ft now being achieved, there is every incentive for landlords to refurbish their buildings in order to meet this anticipated demand, and deliver the type of high quality, flexible and sustainable accommodation which tenants are seeking. The focus on the ESG agenda continues to drive demand as businesses look to improve the quality of their office space in order to attract and retain the best staff, and encourage their own employees back to the office. 

“As hybrid working patterns become the norm the office is assuming a key role as the place for collaboration and team working, and with a growing emphasis on wellness and the availability of amenities such as on-site cafés, gyms, and improved facilities for cyclists in the form of secure storage and showers moving higher up the checklist of desirable features, developers and landlords are reacting positively in order to attract occupiers and achieve the best rents.”

To explore the Ten Trends for a Carbon Zero World, check them out here: 

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