Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 10 point green industrial revolution plan, is sticking true to his regional rebalancing agenda, which is key to securing economic security for the country, however so far, owners of commercial real estate have been offered no incentives to become more environmentally friendly, says Colliers International.
While the government’s plan has many implications for industry, such as the accelerated ban on the sale of fossil fuel vehicles from 2030, as well as support for public buildings and homes to become more energy efficient, landlords or commercial property owners will find few incentives to modernise buildings, or introduce greener building practices into future development plans from the announcement this week.
Andres Guzman, head of sustainability at Colliers International said: “In advance of today’s announcement and next year’s climate summit in Glasgow much has been trailed around the government’s plans to bring forward the ban of sales of new fossil fuel vehicles from 2030 which is a powerful signal to the market, however we are still lacking a clear long-term policy aligned with the UK’s net zero ambition across other sectors. While there are some promises of supporting public buildings and private homes to become more energy efficient, there is a huge swathe of commercial buildings which are currently being left out in the cold.
“While many of the government’s plans for investment in low-cost renewable energy and restoring the natural environment is welcome, a fast acceleration of these plans are needed to meet these ambitious targets and create the targeted number of jobs across the country. Interventions making a significant difference to carbon emissions almost immediately might include additional energy efficiency funding incentives, to encourage retrofitting older building stock.”
Dr Walter Boettcher, Head of Research & Economics at the firm added: “Today’s announcements suggest that the government is aiming to make UK wide sustainability initiatives a key plank in their recovery plans, however we await to see whether next week’s Spending Review will bring forward opportunities for commercial building owners. By offering incentives to landlords and developers to invest in green improvements, the government could accelerate green job creation, and provide an economic boost to see us through the final stages of the pandemic, and early stages of our economic exit from European market. The greatest worry is whether the government organisational infrastructure is up to the task as this type of initiative requires a fundamental change in mindset.”
Colliers International is committed to advancing sustainability solutions and in recent years has been supporting OceansLab, a clean energy research team for the maritime sector which is developing low carbon and zero emission solutions and proving the concept by participating in races and achieving Guinness World Records in the process. Last month the team announced its development of a plug and play Hydrogen Power Module which can provide electric power, and produces only water as a by-product.
In addition the company is striving to help staff become more environmentally friendly through offering salary sacrifice schemes for the purchase of personal electric vehicles, and this week has launched free employee access to e-Bikes from our London Headquarters in Marylebone, for those travelling around the city for site visits and client meetings.