Filinvest REIT prepares for the “Green Shift” in office leasing
Green strategies appear to have a greater impact on the real estate decisions of office occupants, real estate consultant Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Singapore said in its recently released global study, Future of Work 2022. The study covers 13 key global markets , including global leaders USA , China, Japan, Middle East, UK and Australia, reported that 56% of commercial property occupiers surveyed already pay or are willing to pay a premium to occupy a space that presents references in terms of sustainability and ecology.
“In the Philippines, we saw this preferential shift towards green and sustainable office spaces before the pandemic. We believe this is the result of prioritizing the People, Planet, Performance agenda in companies around the world. Our experience with our global portfolio of clients attests to a conclusion similar to JLL’s that the ‘green shift‘ has increased considerably in recent years. This allowed us to leverage our strengths and unlock more value for Filinvest REIT Corp. (FILRT), the first sustainability-themed REIT listed on the local stock exchange,” said Maricel Brion-Lirio, President of Filinvest REIT.
FILRT boasts of a portfolio consisting of 17 Class A office buildings, which include green and sustainability-themed features. Of these, 16 are in the Northgate Cyberzone of Filinvest City in Alabang. Filinvest City is the first central business district in the Philippines to receive LEED® v4 Gold for Neighborhood Development Plan certification for its township-wide green and sustainability features. Filinvest City is also the first and only CBD to receive a 3-star BERDE rating. The portfolio is completed by Filinvest Cyberzone Cebu, a PEZA-accredited joint venture development with the province of Cebu. FILRT was recently recognized by the Real Estate Asia Awards as the REIT Initiative of the Year and Office Development of the Year, as well as by the prestigious Asia CEO Awards as the winner of the Circle of Excellence for Sustainable Business of the Year.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world, created by the US Green Building Council. LEED certified buildings save money, improve efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and create healthier places for people. The BERDE program (Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence) was set up by the Philippine Green Building Council as an appropriate response to the need of the Philippine building industry to proactively address the negative impacts of climate change. climatic.
Two other green certifications are also gaining traction globally, namely WELL and EDGE. WELL is the International Well Building Institute’s performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring characteristics of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, through air, water, food, light, fitness, comfort and spirit. EDGE or Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiency is an innovation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group which focuses exclusively on the private sector. EDGE is an international green building rating system focusing on energy, water and embodied energy in materials. EDGE quantitatively measures, improves and reports efficiencies, utility savings and environmental impacts. To date, EDGE has certified over 876,000 m² of space in the Philippines, avoiding 23,000 tCO2 per year and unlocking opportunities for key industry players.
“We congratulate Filinvest REIT for being at the forefront of the green building movement in the Philippines with the registration of six office towers for EDGE certification,” said Jean-Marc Arbogast, Country Director from IFC for the Philippines.
Two of the properties in the FILRT portfolio, namely Axis Tower One and Vector Three, are among the few LEED Gold certified developments in the country. Other additional buildings in FILRT’s portfolio are also aligned for LEED certification. FILRT aims for a triple certified portfolio with its desire to obtain WELL and EDGE certifications for its developments in addition to LEED.
“FILRT’s green certifications, complemented by our other sustainability-focused initiatives, including our own district cooling system and our shift to renewable energy sources, are proof of concept that sustainability does improve quality of life. It in turn affirms the brand value of our development and ultimately enhances the value of our land. By investing in FILRT which has incorporated sustainability principles, they are able to create environmental and social impact through a business that focuses on the triple bottom line of people, planet and performance. I believe that 3P companies like FILRT are better positioned for the risks and opportunities of the future than those that focus solely on profits,” added Brion-Lirio.