the SRI label is attracting more and more money

June 18, 2022 at 3:40 p.m.

Real estate accounts for a quarter of CO2 emissions in France and 44% of energy consumption. This shows the problem of improving practices in the sector to achieve the goals of decarbonisation of the country. To facilitate this, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, among other things, decided to send French savings to funds through the label SRI Real Estate, launched in October 2020, a little more than four and a half years later. financial investments. “The creation of the SRI label demonstrates real awareness on the part of public authorities and administrators of real estate’s contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, asset creation, and use.”, applauds Jonathan Diver, founder of MeilleurSCPI. However, some leading management companies are well ahead of the rules, such as Perial Asset Management, which has been marketing real estate investment company (SCPI) PFO2 since 2009, following the logic of reducing water and energy consumption. “The profession was able to meet the demand of civil society long before regulators took the lead”, says Robin Godet, SRI manager of Norma Capital. Demand and supply meet in such a way that at the end of 2021, 54 real estate funds had the SRI brand, compared to 12 years earlier, the total assets are estimated at 45 billion euros. Although these amounts come mainly from funds established before 2020 and subsequently designated, a significant proportion of newly created funds have an original label, in particular those specifically designed to be placed in life insurance contracts in the form of non-trading companies. SCPIs were not left out: 20 of them received sesame seeds at the end of 2021, and today their number has grown to 27.

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The growth of SRI real estate funds also meets the need of management companies to unite their teams within the country. “It’s a way to keep employees motivated by solving their search for meaning”, emphasizes Robin Gode. Interest is also financial for unit holders. If the difference in productivity between the marked funds and others is not immediately noticeable, savers should find their account in order. “Currently, SRI is a cost for management companies, but in the long run, value creation will certainly be greater.”believes Jonathan Diver. “We are working to make the assets held in our funds more efficient, liquid, and better valued over time, helping to keep tenants in place.confirms Robin Gode. Thanks to the label, we implement a process of continuous improvement. »

The best approach

In fact, like Norma Capital’s SCPI, 98% of designated real estate funds are covered by a “best in process” approach, which is to assign a rating to each asset and strive to improve it. ci, in contrast to best-in-class approach, is based on maintaining the performance of assets for a long time, whose rating is already above the fund’s average. To avoid greenwashing, the label reference system requires the development of a grid of ESG criteria (environment, social, good governance) and the publication of eight mandatory impact indicators, four of which have been established, as well as a list of the five highest and lowest assets. rating. However, the SRI real estate label can still be improved. Some management companies complain about the lack of comparability of reporting indicators that are specific to each player. “As part of the forthcoming label reform, we have proposed standardizing the rules for calculating carbon and energy efficiency,” said Robin Gode. Some management companies consider common areas or vacant space, others do not. » Another area for improvement is communication with the general public. “Managers have an educational role to playbelieves Jonathan Diver. When the manager uses late mowing of green areas to preserve biodiversity and promote microclimate, these best practices should be brought to the attention of as many people as possible. »