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ESG – Sustainability in the real estate industry

Sustainable into the future

The sustainability theme has been firmly anchored in our society for years, and the real estate industry is no exception. ESG ratings are becoming increasingly important in this context. These provide information on how sustainable a company or a financial product is, among others. However, ESG criteria go far beyond the sustainability aspect. They not only cover ecological aspects, but also provide incentives for companies and fund managers to uphold other ethical and social values. 
ESG in the real estate industry

What does ESG stand for?

As part of corporate social responsibility, ESG is a voluntary contribution by business to sustainable development. This contribution goes beyond the legal requirements and covers the environmental, social and corporate governance areas of responsibility. With a steadily increasing awareness of sustainability and business ethics in our society, it is important for an increasing number of investors to invest in companies and funds that also represent these values.

Meaning of the ESG criteria

Sustainability as well as social justice and conscientious corporate governance are important topics that should be developed with a focus on the future. But ESG regulations are also economically worthwhile: Not only has sustainability become a top trend in recent years, but other ESG characteristics, such as diversity among employees, have a positive impact on a company’s financial success, according to numerous studies conducted in recent years. This in turn has a positive impact on the number of investors. Companies therefore benefit from an ESG strategy just as much as investors do. But what exactly constitutes these criteria?

ESG in the real estate industry

How have ESG regulations evolved?


Socially responsible investing (SRI) started in the 1960s. Investors initially withdrew from their portfolios shares in companies or entire industries whose business activities they considered morally reprehensible.
The foundation for the widespread use of ESG criteria today was established by the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), launched in 2006. By signing the PRI, companies commit to incorporating ESG factors into their strategy. As of March 2021, the initiative recorded signatures from more than 3,800 companies worldwide.


In spring 2021, parts of the EU’s Sustainable Finance Action Plan also came into force. This means that for the first time there are legally defined, binding ESG criteria for funds and companies that wish to describe themselves as ESG-compliant. 

Responsibility for sustainable development on a social, economic and ecological level

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