Hospitality investors can’t ignore ESG requirements

Solar panels in the city
Solar panels in the city. (narvikk/Getty Images)

The risk of ignoring or getting ESG requirements wrong could be devastating for hospitality investors.

Speaking at the International Hospitality Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, David Kellett, senior director of hotel transactions at Invesco Real Estate, said “the risk of getting it wrong is almost too big.”

“To me the risk of not doing it is that when you come to exit investments in a few years’ time, you probably can’t sell them because all of the investors now are pushing and pushing this agenda in that it has to be something that’s done,” he said.

In the last four years Invesco has made sure that all its hotels are certified and its main hotel fund in Europe 5 star GRESB (formerly the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) rated.

Future sales wouldn’t necessarily command a premium because of strong ESG compliance but there might be a very big discount if it’s not there.

Raj Chandnani, chief development officer at architects WATG, said all stakeholders needed to work together.

“If we all come together as opposed to kicking the can to one constituency, we’re going to make more impact,” he said.

Raoul Thomas, founder and CEO of CGI merchant group, emphasised his company’s approach to the “S” in ESG. The firm is giving back 1% of revenue back into communities to help with education and to fight poverty.