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Green investments, green returns: exploring the link between ESG factors and financial performance in real estate

Giacomo Morri (Department of Corporate Finance and Real Estate, SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milano, Italy)
Fan Yang (Bocconi University, Milano, Italy)
Federico Colantoni (Department of Corporate Finance and Real Estate, SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milano, Italy)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 19 March 2024

454

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this research paper is to analyze the connection between ESG performance and financial performance within the real estate sector. By focusing on ESG ratings and pillar scores as proxies for ESG performance, the study investigates how these factors impact both profitability and market indicators.

Design/methodology/approach

With data sourced from over 680 publicly listed real estate companies, the research employs a fixed effects regression model to analyze the findings. By utilizing this method, the study can assess the impact of governance, environmental and social factors on both the accounting and market performance of real estate companies.

Findings

The outcomes of this study underscore a link between sustainability, particularly environmental aspects and financial performance. However, the study also reveals a contrasting result: governance factors are associated with adverse financial outcomes. Nevertheless, it is important to highlight the limitations as the results present a mixed picture with limited significant findings.

Practical implications

Companies should prioritize improvements in environment to boost profitability, while they should carefully consider the costs and benefits associated with enhancing their governance structure.

Originality/value

By focusing on this industry and adopting a global perspective, the study addresses a gap in the literature. The research’s innovative approach to utilizing ESG ratings and pillar scores as proxies for ESG performance enhances its originality. Furthermore, the research’s identification of the differing impacts of environmental and governance factors on financial outcomes add novel perspectives to the discourse.

Keywords

Citation

Morri, G., Yang, F. and Colantoni, F. (2024), "Green investments, green returns: exploring the link between ESG factors and financial performance in real estate", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPIF-09-2023-0084

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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