ING will only offer new financing for office buildings in the Netherlands that meet the requirements for a ‘green’ energy label after 2017.
ING Real Estate Finance has asked real estate customers to come up with concrete plans to make their office buildings sustainable by 2018, earning energy label A, B or C. Top-class green buildings have things such as solar panels, double window-glass and good isolation for roofs and floors.
"Sustainability is no longer a wish, it is a necessity, both economically and environmentally," said Peter Göbel, responsible for the Dutch market at ING Real Estate Finance.
As Dutch market leader, ING is working towards only having ‘green’ buildings in its portfolio by 2023, up from 13% currently. ‘Brown’, or non-sustainable buildings, won’t be eligible for funding as of next year unless the owners have a sustainability plan in place.
ING’s plans are in line with new legislation from Dutch Housing Minister Stef Blok saying that from 2023 buildings must have at least a C energy label in order to be rented as office space.
Many real estate loans have a maturity of five years, so this requirement will already be included in the loan terms as of 2018. It’s also expected that tenants will sooner choose properties with a 'green' label, which will leave 'brown' buildings vacant and decreasing in value.
The government plans to strengthen the measure in 2030, requiring all properties to have an A label.
"Our customers with offices or commercial buildings in their portfolio have now received a letter in which we ask them to anticipate these changes," says Peter Göbel.
ING introduced a five-step plan some time ago to help customers make their buildings sustainable and ready for the new legislation. One step is an app that shows which energy label would be awarded after various sustainability measures. It also shows the investment amount needed and how long it would take to earn it back.