Aberdeen property funds outpace sustainable index

Aberdeen property funds outpace sustainable index

Six property funds managed by Aberdeen Asset Management have topped the list for being the most sustainable investments in the real estate sector, despite the recent temporary suspension of its flagship property fund.

The fund group has seen all six funds score above the Global Real Estate Sustainability benchmark, which measures the fund’s green performance and covers $2.8trn (£2.1trn) of assets globally.

It scores funds on their sustainability in environmental stewardship, social responsibility and governance.

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For the past three years, Aberdeen has been awarded green stars for a number of property funds, including its flagship UK Property fund, its European Balanced Property fund and the Property Nordic fund.

Dan Grandage, Aberdeen’s head of responsible property Investment, said investors are increasingly questioning how Aberdeen addresses ESG risks across the company’s portfolios, and said the company has a “proactive” approach to paying dividends.

“Responsible property investment is not just about saving carbon and energy. It is also about risk management, portfolio competitiveness and increasing operational efficiencies, to the longer term benefit of our investors and building occupiers.”

The property sector has struggled in the wake of the Brexit vote, as investors panicked and pulled out of a number of large commercial real estate funds, forcing the fund groups to temporarily suspend trading.

Aberdeen’s £3.4bn UK Property fund was among those which paused trading, but the vehicle was soon reopened, with investors wishing to redeem facing a 17 per cent cut in prices.

Other funds which have been awarded the green stars include the Aberdeen Property funds Sicav Pan-Nordic, the Pan European Urban Retail Fund, and the Airport Industrial Property unit trust.