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EPRA Monthly Brief
November 2018

 I was pleased to represent EPRA and the wider membership in the U.S. at REITworld and on the West Coast meeting with investors together with Nareit, including a very successful meeting with CalPERS, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. I am happy to report that U.S. investors are very keen to meet with European companies in the wake of the MiFID II implementation from the beginning of the year. The global outreach performance will continue in December, as we will host five European companies in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul and Tokyo for the 11th Asia Week. Should  you wish to attend the Asia Week in the future, I recommend you to get in touch with our Asia Pacific Director Yuri Zhou at y.zhou@epra.com

Meanwhile in Europe our team held a successful Sustainability Workshop with over 110 attendees, proving that ESG factors in the built environment are high on the radar for both corporates and investors. We had a great line-up of speakers ranging from key industry stakeholders to external experts, who discussed the topic of sustainability in-depth and from multiple angles. You may read a more detailed account of the workshop further below.

In the lead up to the new year we are preparing to round off 2018 with a series of events, including a roundtable debate on Innovation & Technology in Real Estate in the European Parliament on 4 December and our very first large-scale Corporate Access & Market Insights Day in London on 12 December. If you wish to participate in the networking breakfast with Green Street Advisors and a lunch interview with James Seppala of Blackstone, please register here.

I wish you all a happy holiday season and a prosperous 2019, and I look forward to meeting you at our famous kick-off Insight events in London on 7 January and in Brussels on 9 January.


Dominique Moerenhout, EPRA CEO

 
EPRA news
EPRA Sustainability workshop transcends the full ESG spectra 
For the third year running EPRA hosted the Sustainability Workshop, which saw the participation of over 110 industry stakeholders and experts who debated on the topic of sustainability and its impact on the listed real estate industry. The prime focus of the morning session was to better understand the phenomenon of global climate change, current and future risks for the real estate sector and how listed property companies can contribute to tackle it. The audience was very engaged and the ensuing debate proved to be very aligned with the recently published IPCC report on climate change and its call for urgent action. Professor Christopher Rapley, who opened the day noted during his keynote speech, that while “we are imperfectly adapted to the climate system we inherited, and we are not adapted to the system we are provoking”, there are positive and encouraging signs in terms of corporates and markets being a key factor that can drive us to a future with less than 1.5-2°C temperature rise. The following two panel sessions continued exploring climate-related themes as Landsec, Hammerson, Vonovia, Segro and Prologis respectively debated on how to best mitigate and adapt to climate change, ranging from setting ambitious CO2 reduction targets to investing in renewable energy sources and storage. The afternoon sessions followed a different trajectory of sustainability as the covered topics focused on health & well-being, rating systems as well as diversity & inclusion.

Discover our brand new infographics to gain a better understanding of sustainability reporting and a comprehensive overview of our sBPR Database!

 
Investor Outreach in the U.S.
For two weeks in November, EPRA CEO Dominique Moerenhout and Director of Research & Indexes Ali Zaidi were in the Westcoast to attend Nareit’s REITworld: 2018 Annual Conference and participate in a series of investor meetings. This marks the second time in 2018 that EPRA and Nareit have embarked upon a joint outreach programme and met with major investment organisations in the U.S., including public and corporate pension funds, investment consulting firms and asset management funds. Investors showed a strong interest in investment opportunities in European and U.S. REITs and publicly traded  real estate companies, and were keen to find out more about research that has been conducted and sponsored by EPRA and Nareit. Of particular interest was the EPRA sponsored CEM benchmarking study as it clearly demonstrates the strong performance of listed companies in pension funds and the benefits of adding REITs to a mixed asset portfolio. For more information on the outreach programme, please read Nareit’s blog post here.
 
CBBA Annual Conference - EPRA discussed the EU Sustainable Finance Proposal 
Our EU Policy Manager Jana Bour participated in a panel discussion on ‘Long Term Investors combining financial gains for pensions with common purpose: Sustainable Finance and Economic Growth across the Union’ at the Cross-Border Benefits Alliance Annual Conference in Brussels this November. Jana presented the opportunities of the recently published EU Sustainable Finance package, particularly the one on Taxonomy. EPRA has been a strong advocate of the extension of the scope to include direct investments in public equities (company shares), next to green bonds and financial products. Moreover, Jana also mentioned the EPRA work on Sustainability Best Practices (sBPR) recommendations for ESGs disclosure and reporting, as well as on the future sBPR Database with a reporting scope including property investment portfolio and corporate performance.

The panel was moderated by Paulina Pielichata, Pensions & Investment. In addition to Jana, other key panellists were pension experts and asset managers from Sarasin & Partners and Alternatives Principles for Responsible Investment.  

EPRA joined CBBA Europe last September to support their work on cross-border pensions and benefits in the EU. CBBA Europe was created in November 2017 and has now 20 members, including Pension Funds, Insurance companies, Sectorial Employers Federations, and Financial consultants.

For a full take on our stance, you may read our position paper on the EU Taxonomy Proposal.

 
EPRA Corporate Access & Market Insight Day
Join us in London at the May Fair Hotel on December 12 for our first large-scale Corporate Access & Market Insights Day. Although 95% of the slots have already been taken, we are pleased to report that there is still time for you to register for the last available places.

There is also still time to register for two market insight sessions brought to you by Green Street Advisors, namely:
  • Networking breakfast: please join us and industry peers from 08.00 to 09.00 for a pointed overview of the European listed space including a look at some of the principal disruptors facing the market at present – this will be led by Cedrik Lachance (Head of Global REIT Research) and Hemant Kotak (Managing Director) of Green Street Advisors
     
  • Lunch Interview with James Seppala: please join us from 12.30 for lunch followed by an interview at 13.10 with James Seppala (Head of Real Estate Europe at Blackstone) led by Peter Papadakos (Managing Director at Green Street Advisors)
 
 
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