Way to go Scotland!

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Julie Hirigoyen
Jones Lang LaSalle, UK

A straw poll of Jones Lang LaSalle’s top Scottish clients reveals majority view that sustainability will deliver business opportunities to real estate sector.
What opportune timing, it’s World Green Building Week, for Jones Lang LaSalle’s UK Executive team to meet in Scotland with a focus on long-term business strategy. Sustainability was a key topic for discussion yesterday, as we stretched our planning horizons to the future, and considered what changes would be critical to our future business success. Indeed, the city of Edinburgh itself provided some elegant reminders of the true meaning of a sustainable city: aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting architecture, sustainable transport systems like trams and cycle lanes, and a local Government committed to engaging with the city’s future, as articulated in its vision ‘Sustainable Edinburgh 2020’.
To celebrate our continued presence in the Scottish real estate markets, and the coming together of our teams following our recent merger with King Sturge, we hosted a dinner for about 15 of our loyal and trusted clients. The warm and convivial conversations were brought to a close by an address from Andrew Gould, CEO Jones Lang LaSalle UK, who spoke of the reshaping opportunities that arise from a recession. Sustainability once again emerged as a key topic for discussion, as our colleagues and clients were asked by a simple show of hands, to indicate their view on its relevance as either a threat or an opportunity to the property industry. Although a handful raised their hands twice – both threat and opportunity – the majority were of the view that this agenda now offers a range of commercial market opportunities.
Despite legitimate concerns about the confusion that still exists over definitions of sustainability – be it ‘zero carbon’ UK targets before the decade is out, or ‘near zero energy’ EU Directive mandates, the overall direction is inexorably one that aligns the built environment with a low carbon economy. So it is with eager anticipation that, here in the UK, both ourselves and our clients are keen to find new ways of working to exploit that commercial opportunity further.
Jones Lang LaSalle’s growing track record of successful renewable energy mandates, is a good example of our partnerships with clients to a common sustainability goal… and coincidentally this is also an area where we could learn much from our Scottish neighbours. By 2020, 100% of the energy generated in Scotland is set to be renewable, compared with only 15% in the rest of the UK!

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