Property management

Achieving Net Zero Together: Landlords and Occupiers

July 5, 2023

Achieving Net Zero Together: Balancing Landlord and Occupier Needs to Tackle the Climate Crisis.

In the quest to combat climate change, reaching Net Zero emissions has become increasing more important to achieve as soon as possible. This week (1-7th July) is Net Zero Week™ by Binary Carbon, a national awareness campaign to highlight how individuals and businesses can reduce their carbon emissions to combat the effects of climate change.

Metrus Director, Andrew Ladopouli MRICS CEnv, shares his thoughts on balancing the needs of both landlords and occupiers when working towards reducing the impact of property management on the climate.

With 40% of carbon emissions coming from the built environment, the whole team at Metrus understands there is an urgent need to address the climate crisis and rapidly transition to a greener, safer and more resilient economy.

We know how important it is to embed these values in the way we service our clients by demonstrating how they can contribute to the UK’s Net Zero mission.

What does Net Zero mean?

Net Zero is the solution to stopping global climate change by reducing carbon emissions to their lowest amount through energy efficiency measures.
The UK was the first major economy in the world to pass legislation to end our contribution to climate change. In June 2019, laws were passed by the Government committing the whole country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050. Similar commitments have been pledged by the EU, USA, China and many other nations, making net zero the best strategy to protect the natural world from rising global temperatures.

To make Net Zero by 2050 a reality, everyone needs to play their part. As London’s leading property advisors, we recognise our clients, landlords and occupiers all have differing needs when it comes to their ability to reduce their carbon emissions, and we work hard to balance their requirements.

Net Zero and Commercial Buildings

Whilst many people are familiar with how to reduce their carbon emissions at home, commercial and mixed-use properties present more of a challenge. Larger buildings, spread over many floors with multiple occupiers are more likely to have increased environmental impacts due to inefficiencies in heating, air conditioning and lighting usage, as well as sourcing energy generated from burning fossil fuels.

At Metrus, our ethos is to work closely with our clients to optimise their buildings’ operational and service levels. By using thorough research and sharing industry knowledge, we help our clients understand how they can reduce the carbon impact of their building with a Net Zero Audit.

Utilising our consultants’ expertise, Net Zero Audits create a road map to Net Zero built around our own accredited EMS status which helps break-down this target into methodical and transparent steps.

There is a growing demand for sustainability from businesses and consumers, and this extends to environmentally friendly commercial and residential spaces. By committing to the Net Zero goal, the marketability of a building can be significantly enhanced and lead to increased occupancy and revenue from environmentally conscious occupiers and investors.

Overcoming Net Zero Challenges: Collaborative Solutions

While the benefits of Net Zero in commercial buildings are clear, managing the differing needs of landlords and occupiers can present significant challenges. Creating awareness about the benefits of Net Zero and the shared value it brings is essential.

Often the property owner and the occupiers have conflicting interests when it comes to investments in energy efficiency. Where the property owner is bearing the capital costs, they may not necessarily directly benefit from the energy savings. On the other hand, occupiers, who pay utility bills, may be hesitant to invest in improvements for a building they do not own. Our team at Metrus have extensive experience on bridging this gap through collaboration and incentives that align the interests of both parties as lease agreements often lack provisions for sustainability improvements, making it difficult to implement measures to improve energy efficiency.

Upgrading existing buildings to achieve Net Zero can be a complex process, especially for central London properties. Retrofitting requires integrating new technologies and systems into older infrastructures, which may not be designed for such modifications. Property owners and occupiers must collaborate closely to identify feasible retrofitting options and ensure seamless integration while minimising disruptions to daily operations.

By implementing advanced building management systems and real-time energy monitoring tools, Metrus can help property owners optimise the energy performance of their buildings and identify areas for improvement. By sharing energy data and establishing regular communication channels, landlords can promote transparency to their occupiers, enable informed decision-making and ensure continuous energy management for the benefit of all.

Working towards Net Zero status often involves significant upfront costs for building improvements, energy-efficient equipment, and renewable energy systems. Balancing these costs can be challenging, particularly for property owners who may be concerned about return on investment. Appropriate funding mechanisms, such as government incentives, grants, or green financing options, can help alleviate financial concerns and facilitate the transition to Net Zero.

Metrus Net Zero Property Services

Achieving Net Zero in commercial buildings is a crucial step towards mitigating climate change and creating a sustainable future. However, managing the differing needs of landlords and occupiers presents unique challenges that must be overcome. By fostering collaboration, utilising advanced technologies, and educating owners and occupiers, it is possible to balance these needs and achieve a harmonious transition to Net Zero.

Metrus has over 40 years of experience successfully managing the differing needs of landlords and occupiers through collaborative solutions, innovative thinking and clear communication.