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    Real Estate Deep Dive


    Investing Sustainably

    Real Estate Deep Dive

    GIC’s Real Estate Department (RE) seeks to ensure best-in-class sustainable practices in their respective markets.

    Within RE, GIC’s Offence strategy consists of tracking themes that could disrupt the real estate industry, with a view to future-proof the brick-and-mortar portfolio. For example, we track PropTech trends that help identify energy usage and integrate data for usage optimisation, resulting in energy and cost savings. Through market scanning, GIC invests in emerging businesses, and funds the incubation of businesses with the potential to become industry gamechangers.

    GIC adopts a full lifecycle approach and takes active steps to develop or retrofit our assets to be environmentally sustainable, such as installing energy-efficient lighting in common areas and within tenant premises, upgrading lifts, and rezoning air circulation units to enhance each building’s energy efficiency. Investing in high efficiency designs and building systems upfront helps to preserve asset value and may cost more initially, but will lead to future operational savings. GIC also assesses the carbon footprint of the RE portfolio against appropriate available benchmarks, with a view to further reduce it. This data-driven approach is complemented by green certifications such as BREEAM and LEED.

    The Defence strategy focuses on enhancing the resilience of our portfolio to climate change risks. This is done through conducting sustainability assessments of individual assets, and mapping our physical risks. The physical risk assessment considers key risks such as tropical and extratropical cyclones, storm surge and inland floods, bush fires and other extreme weather events. The geocodes of our RE assets are overlaid with hazard maps to determine their exposure to these hazards. The portfolio is then monitored for any exposure changes.

    How does RE embed development expertise?

    RE’s approach exemplifies GIC’s ownership mindset – with an in-house Project Development Unit (PDU) comprising engineers and building specialists who help ensure that investments meet sustainability and wellness standards globally. This includes reviewing and adopting changes to buildings and M&E designs that can improve operational efficiency, energy reliability and minimise carbon emissions.

    We believe a strong focus on fundamentals and its surrounding community will strengthen the assets’ resilience to future climate change risk, and lead to long-term value enhancement of the overall RE portfolio.

    Case Study: British Land / 100 Liverpool Street, Broadgate Estate

    GIC worked with British Land, a partner which has successfully demonstrated the important role developers play in supporting global decarbonisation goals. Since 2014, when GIC acquired a stake in the Broadgate Estate, GIC has advised in a joint venture with British Land on the evaluation of new developments, major value-add opportunities and placemaking initiatives on the Estate.

    In November 2020, the joint venture delivered its first net zero carbon building, 100 Liverpool Street (100LPS), which was awarded with an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM certification and ‘Platinum’ Wired Score. In addition, 100LPS won City of London Building of the Year 2021, an award by the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects.

    100LPS was developed with sustainability in mind, and today provides a model for sustainable, low carbon development. To keep embodied carbon low, 100LPS’ design retained or reused 50% of the building’s existing structure, such as the steel frame, foundations and concrete. To optimise the completed building’s operational efficiency, smart systems were installed to monitor real-time building performance, water recycling systems were built to use rainwater/greywater to meet 40% of water demand, and 100% of electricity and gas will be supplied by renewable sources. Residual emissions were offset through nature-based solutions including land restoration and afforestation projects in Tibet, Mexico, Cumbria and Scotland.

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