Deutsche Bank – Responsibility

Real estate investments: Sustainable buildings as investment properties

Increasingly more investors realize that social and environmental factors have an impact on the value of a real estate property, and there is growing interest in sustainable buildings. Our real estate division provides clients with the assurance that those sustainability aspects are taken into account. Furthermore, investors can selectively invest in sustainable real estate with a certified environmental and sustainability approach.


Climate protection and sustainability play an important role in our real estate investment division, AWM Real Estate Investment Management (formerly RREEF Real Estate). Taking sustainability criteria into account is essential for us to achieve long-term, stable yields for our clients and manage risks responsibly. We had already developed sustainability strategies for our most important real estate funds and individual mandates in the past. We have now started to integrate ESG criteria into our entire real estate management.

With our portfolios, we participate in international industry comparisons such as Greenprint, a global association of leading real estate owners, investors and financial institutes. Together we are pursuing the goal of reducing carbon emissions in the real estate sector worldwide.

In the year 2012 we started integrating sustainability aspects into our acquisition processes.

Based on our standards for US office buildings, we are also developing our own sustainability criteria for our industrial and retail real estate properties in the USA. They constitute the framework for our other activities. Among other things, we are developing a comprehensive reporting system and suitable benchmarking methods for energy consumption and pollutant emissions.

We are convinced that sustainable real estate properties will perform well in the market, and that increasing the energy and resource efficiency of buildings has a positive impact on their return / risk profile. That is why we strive to improve the ecological performance of buildings as well as identify potential for energy savings, waste reduction and the use of eco-friendly materials and raw materials in all our real estate properties.

Sustainable activity improves our operational performance capacity, takes client interests regarding sustainable buildings into account, and minimizes reputational and regulatory risks. Furthermore, applying sustainable criteria prevents technical obsolescence in existing real estate properties.

We want to set new standards for our sector, improve the environmental audit of the assets we manage, and define clear guidelines in order to strengthen the link between our sustainability efforts and financial value.

Current developments

555,000 sqm

of sustainability-certified buildings, which is equivalent to € 2 bn of managed assets.

Certification of sustainable buildings and sustainability labels

In the year 2012, the floor area of our buildings that have been awarded Green Building labels increased by another 145,000 square meters, currently totaling to 555,000 square meters. That represents assets under management of roughly 2 billion Euros. Last year the proportion of our real estate investments with sustainability certificates increased from 3.9 percent in the year 2011 to 6.9 percent at present.

In the USA, 115 of the office buildings we manage – a floor space of 1.6 million square meters – have been awarded the ENERGY STAR (R) eco-label. That portfolio currently achieves an average ENERGY STAR (R) score of 75 points compared with 64 points in the previous year.

An energy performance certificate has been issued for a total of about 2.8 million square meters  of our building floor space in the EU and 82 percent of our real estate properties in Germany and Poland, exceeding the market average.

We will continue to attach special importance to sustainable buildings in future as well and work to optimising their energy efficiency.

1.6 Million sqm

Building floor space in the USA issued the ENERGY STAR ® certificate.

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