Sustainability is climbing up the business agenda, a survey of board directors in charge of location for the 500 largest companies in Europe carried out by property adviser Cushman & Wakefield reveals. More than two-thirds (69%) of companies consider sustainability to be either important, very important or fundamental issues for their business. Of the countries in which these companies are located, Spain placed lowest with 54%.
For the vast majority of European companies (90%), the 'green' credentials of a building play a role in their decision to buy or lease a new space/ building. Of these, 42% view them as playing a ‘significant’ role and for 8%, green credentials play a ‘fundamental’ role. Spain ranked the lowest again, with 15% of companies viewing green credentials as playing no role at all.
Across Europe, more than two-thirds (68%) of all companies surveyed either currently own or occupy a ‘green’ building or would like to. The UK performed well in this category with 75% of companies. Italy has the biggest percentage of businesses which do not occupy a green building and are not interested in doing so (45%).
When choosing a more sustainable building, the five most important factors for companies in order of priority are; 'reduction in energy and water consumption in use' (29%), 'saving in costs of running the building' (16%), 'building location to maximise travel planning' (12%), 'overall reduction in CO2 emissions' (12%) and 'ability to switch to more environmentally friendly renewable energy sources' (9%).
Andries Van der Walt, UK head of Sustainability at Cushman & Wakefield, said: 'Attitudes are definitely shifting and the results reflect our own experience in the market. However, when it comes down to transactions sustainability often still ranks low on the list of tenant requirements. This is in part due to the lack of understanding and transparency about the link between sustainability and factors such as life-cycle cost and occupier environment.'