Polish Council of Shopping Centers and Polish Chamber of Commercial Real Estate Release ESG Guide for Industry


The Polish Council of Shopping Centers and the Polish Chamber of Commercial Real Estate have jointly prepared the compendium “ESG for Commercial Real Estate. Selected Topics and Practices”. This unique guide collects the work of working groups composed of experts working with both organizations. The authors publish in it, among other things, the results of an industry study on companies’ preparedness for ESG reporting and a consumer study on societal expectations. The publication also includes guidelines on property valuations and green lease agreements, content related to the challenges of financing real estate in the context of EU taxonomy, advice on energy transformation, and information on audits and the acquisition of white certificates. The PRCH and PINK jointly evaluate that the content of the publication responds to the demands and needs formulated by the commercial real estate environment.

The commercial real estate industry is preparing for significant changes related to legislative and regulatory pressure, which in a relatively short time, will significantly affect its functioning. Changes depending on unstable prices and supply of energy and climate change, force the entire sector to focus on energy efficiency, process optimization, cooperation between tenants and landlords to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Recent months are a time of transition from theory to practice – green clauses have started to be reflected in lease agreements, affecting financing, valuations, and insurance of properties. ESG has begun to play a crucial role at every stage of the life cycle of facilities – from investment planning, through construction and commercialization, to comprehensive property management.

“We currently observe a clear change in perspective in the approach to ESG issues in the commercial real estate market. What was once mostly a theoretical assumption has now evolved and is widely accepted and increasingly applied practice. ESG plays a key role at every stage of the property lifecycle. This is not just a trend, but a strategic direction that shapes the future of our industry,” notes Agnieszka Jachowicz, a board member of the Polish Chamber of Commercial Real Estate.

The study also examined to what extent companies operating in the commercial real estate market are preparing for the challenges associated with the need to report ESG under the CSRD directive and taxonomy. The PRCH and PINK study included entities managing or owning over 13 million m2 GLA, 302 shopping facilities, 76 office buildings, 11 housing projects, and 211 industrial-logistics facilities.

“In view of the reporting obligation that commercial property owners will soon be subject to, the most important challenge is good preparation of the organization to collect reliable data and to prepare reliable calculations based on them. We are pleased that the majority of respondents indicated that their company has taken action related to achieving compliance of the organization and buildings with EU taxonomy. Although in many cases we do not yet have a mature strategy, there are already examples of comprehensive preparation on this issue,” says Krzysztof Poznański, Managing Director of the Polish Council of Shopping Centers.

The creators of the guide emphasize that in Poland, final legal solutions regulating ESG issues have not yet been introduced. This primarily results from the fact that most existing legal regulations are still being consulted or introduced at the EU level.

The PRCH and PINK experts also addressed the issue of green clauses in lease agreements, which are increasingly commonly used, even if they contain provisions with varying degrees of precision and penalties associated with non-performance of contractual obligations. It should be expected that their presence will soon become the norm, and the level of precision will increase, as it is expected that such a standard will apply to both the landlord and the tenant.

The publication also includes tips on real estate financing and bank requirements in the ESG area, energy audits, and the impact of ESG on valuations and property values.

The publication “ESG for Commercial Real Estate. Selected Issues and Practices” was created in cooperation with member companies of PINK and PRCH as well as with the support of partners: EPP, GLP, Nhood and Skanska. The study includes the results of two surveys – industry and consumer – and the results of the work of three working groups of members of the Polish Chamber of Commercial Real Estate and the Polish Council of Shopping Centers. The substantive partners of the guide are: PwC and the National Energy Conservation Agency and the research company Inquiry., Experts from PLGBC, SGH and the Sołtysiński, Kawecki & Szlęzak law firm also shared their knowledge. The patron of the publication is the European Shopping Places Trust.