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Sarasin switches to sustainable property

Sarasin is repositioning one of its real estate funds to invest in property companies focused on improving the environment through sustainable projects.

The Sarasin Real Estate Equity fund has become the Sustainable Equity Real Estate Global fund to include companies that are leading their industries with sustainable construction and property management.

The fund has social and environmental criteria, meaning the manager, Jake Ferguson, has to find profitable real estate companies or Real Estate Investment Trusts (Reits) on a global level. It is believed the fund will benefit from developers realising the advantages of sustainable building methods, a wider acceptance of higher rents in return for lower running costs, and higher prices for sustainable buildings.

In a release, Sarasin says the real estate sector faces challenges due to higher energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. There is also pressure on governments to place emphasis on sustainability in construction projects and building design.

Of all the sectors, real estate has the biggest potential for reducing energy consumption and preventing greenhouse gas emissions. The property sector therefore has a key role to play in combating climate change, says Klaus Kaempf, part of the sustainability research team at Sarasin.

Ferguson adds: We have looked at sustainability in global real estate for over 12 months and find this issue right at the top of the agenda for many Western Reits and property companies. We are sure that sustainability will continue to grow in importance in Asia.

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