A recent United Nations study concluded that more environmentally-sound buildings can do a lot to fight global warming and it is good to see that more real estate firms are turning away from portfolios full of obsolete, inefficient buildings.
Progressive Investor reports that 41% of the 300 U.S. real estate investment trusts (REITs) are actively pursuing energy efficiency and green building upgrades and another 27% plan to do so.
According to Rona Fried, editor of Progressive Investor, “Industry leaders are forming a responsible property trade association, creating criteria for certification, integrating green building into the appraisal process and into broker databases.”
Fried identifies the following drivers: high energy and water costs; building green no longer costs more; clients and tenants are showing green building preferences.
Big business is helping things along, such as Bank of America,
US investors can gain exposure to the sector through the Forward Progressive Real Estate Fund (FFREX), the first SRI REIT mutual fund, and through about two dozen individual securities, including Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG), Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE: WRI), Prologis (NYSE: PLD) and SL Green Realty (NYSE: SLG).