Green agenda and green performance: empirical evidence for real estate companies

Marcelo Cajias (Competence Center of Sustainable Real Estate, IRE|BS University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany)
Peter Geiger (Competence Center of Sustainable Real Estate, IRE|BS University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany)
Sven Bienert (Competence Center of Sustainable Real Estate, IRE|BS University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany)

Journal of European Real Estate Research

ISSN: 1753-9269

Publication date: 3 August 2012

Abstract

Purpose

A green agenda has become a growing subject throughout an increasing number of European listed real estate companies over the last decade. The focus on sustainability is presumably not only goodwill or legislation driven but is rather a benefit driven action to achieve an economic surplus. The purpose of this paper is the development of an adequate sustainability definition, the investigation of the effect of a sustainability agenda on a company level, and the identification of possible financial benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an explorative qualitative and quantitative study. First, the authors developed a four‐bottom‐line real estate sustainability agenda in accordance with the guidelines of the European Public Real Estate Association and the Global Reporting Initiative. Second, the study examines 80 European listed real estate companies from 2006 until 2009, and third, the study applies a panel analysis with conditional and unconditional regression techniques.

Findings

After classifying firms across different levels of sustainability intensity and quantifying the impact of an intensive green agenda the authors found a positive linkage between a green agenda and a green performance, especially in terms of an increased ability to generate revenues and a decreased level of idiosyncratic stock volatility. As a result, green commitments are not merely altruisms but are economically driven instead.

Originality/value

This paper gives, to the authors' knowledge, a first insight of how European real estate listed companies behave in terms of corporate social responsibility. The study contributes to the theoretical literature of corporate sustainable real estate companies by establishing an economic transmission mechanism as well as providing empirical evidence in favour of responsible activities.

Keywords

Citation

Cajias, M., Geiger, P. and Bienert, S. (2012), "Green agenda and green performance: empirical evidence for real estate companies", Journal of European Real Estate Research, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 135-155. https://doi.org/10.1108/17539261211250717

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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