Once considered a niche enterprise, and the preserve of those more concerned with warm and fuzzy social dogoodedness than cold, hard profit, sustainable investments are now headed toward the mainstream.
In November, Schroders, an investment research firm, released their annual global report packed with stats which give evidence of this shift in temperament.
From interviews with 22,000 investors across 30 countries, 2017 Schroders Global Investor Study reports that ⅔ have increased their investments in sustainable businesses in the last five years, with 53% viewing sustainable investing as ‘Companies that are likely to be more profitable because they are proactive in preparing for environmental and social changes.’
In a recent interview with the Telegraph, David Partridge, the man behind the regeneration of King’s Cross in London and chairman of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), mirrors this sentiment.
Commenting on Kings Cross’s sustainability credentials, he says, ‘It’s not just a corporate social responsibility thing that you have to do to save the planet, a bit of charity work. In fact, it’s really good for business.’
We’re inclined to agree. By building properties that create their own clean energy, the costs of running our Zero Carbon Smart Homes are greatly reduced: with a recent case study showing a Verto Homes property costs 70% less to run than a London townhouse, despite being a third larger in size. This ultimately means significantly higher rental yields for homeowners.
The wider corporate community sees a similar benefit, as we observed in our recent post about the energy independence trend and its adoption by blue-chip companies: Starbucks, Ikea and Siemens (Should you be energy independent? Lessons from Ikea, Starbucks and Siemens).
Another interesting statistic that emerged from Schroders findings tells of the eco-conscious nature of Millennials. A whopping 86% of Millennial investors agree that ‘Sustainable investing has become more important to them in the past five years’, beating the 79% of Generation Xers and 69% of Baby Boomers.
While often the butt of generational jokes due to their attachment to their phones and lofty liberalism, the importance of Millennials as consumers and influencers is not to be scoffed at.
Having overtaken the Baby Boomers as the largest population in the world, Millennials are about to enter their major spending years and reach a place of influence in their careers. That means Millennials will soon enter into key decision-making roles across sectors, including media, product design and government.
Widely associated with the sharing economy, Millennials have typically been hesitant to leap into traditional milestones like marriage, starting families and house-buying. But that doesn’t mean that they are commitment phobes for life; with all signs saying they are just reaching these milestones later, and with an ethical shrewdness not experienced before.
We believe that by this maturation point, energy-efficient Smart Homes will become the expectation. And as developers of the first Zero Carbon Smart Homes in the UK, we’ll be well poised to deal with this demand.
Want to know what we’re building next? Check out our latest homes here.