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Responsible property investment

RLAM is a key player in the UK commercial property investment market, investing on behalf of the Royal London Group and external pension fund clients. 

We are committed to a rigorous and detailed investment process, adding value and maximising returns by taking a distinctive perspective on property use, letting and development. In undertaking such processes we acknowledge that our business and investment activities have environmental impacts through the use of energy, natural resources and the production of waste.

Policies and targets

We have created a number of policies, targets and statements of achievement in order to provide more structure to our sustainable investment goals.

Our RLAM Property Environmental Policy sets out our overriding aims and ambitions with regard to Sustainable Investment.

View our Property Environmental Policy

Environmental objectives

In addition to compliance with relevant environmental legislation, our commitment includes setting clear environmental objectives (and, where possible, specific targets), developing, implementing, monitoring and reviewing procedures to achieve these objectives, as well as maintaining a continuous improvement in environmental performance.

View our Environmental Management Objectives and Targets

Benchmarks

We continue to respond annually to benchmarks and reporting requirements including:

Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB)

This has become widely recognised as the measure of sustainability performance. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance is assessed against seven sustainability aspects, including information on performance indicators, such as energy, carbon emissions, water and waste. In our most recent assessment (November 2020) our three funds performed exceptionally well. Two of the funds increased from two star rankings to three, with our third fund increasing from a three star ranking to four, achieving second place of 59 within its peer group. Two of our funds also entered into the Development sections. They both achieved 5 star rankings and were ranked 1st and 4th within their peer groups, with one of them achieving Sector Leader status.

United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI)

RLAM is a signatory to this benchmark and as part of this we have committed to reporting on our responsible investment activity year on year across all our asset classes. In 2020 Property received an ‘A’ against a median score of ‘B’.

Development

We aim to uphold the aims of sustainable development:

  • To enhance the economic, social and environmental benefits of our work
  • To reduce, as far as is viable, the environmental impact of our developments

Wherever we undertake development activities, including refurbishment and new construction, we will endeavour to ensure that:

  • Development plans meet the relevant environmental sustainability policies of the local planning authority
  • Environmental criteria are included in the design brief, in particular with regard to the reduction of demolition arisings and construction waste sent to landfill, the selection of new and recycled content and construction materials and the reduction of carbon emissions from energy use
  • Our contractors and suppliers manage the construction process so as to minimise pollution and the production of waste

We also consider it vital to clearly communicate our environmental policy to our consultants, contractors, suppliers and agents, and give consideration only to those who can demonstrate that they share and will implement the environmental standards consistent with our own.

We have also created a fresh set of development and refurbishment sustainability standards which we consider to be market leading. The standards are applicable to all our development and refurbishment projects and are grouped into eight new sustainability categories: energy; materials; waste; water; climate resilience; bio-diversity; health/safety/wellbeing; and community.

View our Property development and refurbishment sustainability standards

Property management

With regard to the ongoing management of our investment property portfolios, we will endeavour to reduce the use of energy, water and other natural resources and to undertake regular maintenance and improvement programmes to ensure properties operate at their highest environmental efficiency.

We work very closely with our external managing agents to ensure that we constantly review, challenge and improve our sustainability targets and goals.

Sustainable investing

Sustainable investing is a modern and inclusive method of embedding values in investing. The difference compared to ethical investing is that the screening is mainly positive – rather than ‘screening out’, we ‘screen in’. It is about doing good, rather than avoiding bad.

Sustainable investing at RLAM