Edinburgh consultancy Paragon boosts eco credentials with green investment service

Edinburgh-based building and project consultancy Paragon has launched a green investment service to help property investment funds set and attain specific environmental targets.

Knox is the firms director of environmental and sustainability services. Picture: contributed.

Paragon said its proprietary two-stage service comprises a “green book” guide that enables funds to set standards and monitor new acquisitions against them. It also assists in the drafting of “green clauses” in tenant leases to embed sustainability into a building’s ongoing management.

The business said the combined service helps investors meet their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) targets throughout the whole property life cycle, from initial investment to asset management. The offer is delivered in partnership with specialist sustainability consultancy Envision.

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Paragon added that it has already advised existing clients regarding green leases and is now launching the product to the wider market.

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“There is a particularly strong focus from funds on sustainable investments, both during development and throughout a building’s use. Companies which are open-minded to aligning investment decisions with ESG policies and driving better environmental standards and fund monitoring will benefit from the service.”

Reach

Paragon has it base on George Street in Edinburgh, and its clients operating in Scotland include Aberdeen Standard Investments, Hudson Advisors, Legal and General Investment Management, Oval Real Estate, Brighton Pier Group and Manse LLP. The consultancy has about 200 staff and also has offices in London, Esher in Surrey, Manchester and Bristol.

It says it covers all aspects of building surveying, project management, project monitoring, cost consultancy, environmental consultancy, occupier services, drone services, and dispute resolution support, for example.

Meanwhile, new research from online investment platform Charles Stanley Direct has found that almost half of UK investors (48 per cent) expect to increase their ESG investments over the next three years, with 17 per cent planning to do so significantly.

The firm said the findings highlight the growing role Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is currently playing among UK investors, as well as the growing awareness of both SRI and ESG.

Among the UK adults currently with an investment portfolio surveyed, 43 per cent said they have exposure to either SRI or ESG – with the rate notably higher among those aged 44 and under compared to their older peers.

Rob Morgan, investment analyst at Charles Stanley Direct, said: “There continues to be a significant movement toward SRI among UK investors. But while awareness and appetite are increasing, more needs to be done to complete the shift from niche investing to the mainstream.”