The topic of the environmental toll encompassing the commercial real estate business has been broadly discussed. Recently, due to pandemic and climate-related disruption many governments, investors and developers have turned to tangible practices to approach the issue, in order to actually make a difference.
The Bulgarian market has also focused on setting standards in order to meet the need for change. Leading developers and investors picked up the trend, following the guidelines set in order to receive highly-sought after environmental certificates, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREAM (Beaufort Region Environmental Assessment and Monitoring). Currently, a lot of them turn their attention to the standards set by Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). These standards focus on the integrative wellness of the entire building and exploiting process. Besides reducing the impact on the environment, the business is focusing on creating opportunities for higher quality of life in the long perspective.
These practices are used by the financial institutions and investors to calculate a more robust approach to sustainability-related risks. International real estate investors on the Bulgarian market, such as GTC and CTP, are issuing green bonds, which they will use to promote energy efficiency in their existing and future projects. Realistically, putting the ‘green politics’ in action gives an advantage not only to the real estate sector, but for the financial markets as well. Such an example is the initiative of Unicredit Bulbank that offers green mortgages and special interest rate discounts when buying a home in an energy efficient building. Additionally, such homes are exempt from tax for the first 7 years after purchase.
With 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions coming from buildings, sustainability has become not only a priority, but a mandate, for many companies.