Lettings News

Report highlights efforts by estate and letting agents to reduce carbon emissions

Em Morley - August 12, 2021

More than half (54%) of agents believe the issue of sustainability is becoming more important for the property industry, a report from home setup service Just Move In reveals.

Only a third of agents (35%) believe their firm is currently sustainable enough.

However, more than a quarter of estate and letting agents (27%) see sustainability as a ‘box-ticking exercise’. The report, which questioned more than 150 UK agencies, also shows almost nine in ten firms (87%) don’t have a net-zero strategy for reducing their carbon emissions.

58% of agents thought that being eco-friendly could improve profitability, and 66% say that poor green credentials would harm the business.

The report looks into agents’ performance in six key areas: energy use, waste, recycling, the office environment, transport, and initiatives.

The five most adopted sustainability practices by agents have been recorded in the following table:

Use digital apps to share files91%
Encourage digital brochures to save paper89%
Use video conferencing to cut travel85%
Use energy efficient light bulbs83%
Use reusable cups and bottles83%

The five least adopted sustainability practices adopted by agents are:

Use green cleaning products33%
Use a green energy supplier43%
Consider energy rating when buying appliances45%
Use a smart electricity meter45%
Use recycled paper54%

When it comes to transport, 16% of agencies have electric company cars, and 20% have hybrid vehicles. 36% said members of their team cycled to work, and 29% said they used public transport when necessary.

26% always consider eco-credentials when choosing a supplier, but the same amount never does this. 47% of agents sometimes take them into account.

Ross Nichols, Co-founder of Just Move In, comments: “Estate agents and letting agents are on the front line in the battle against climate change and have a great opportunity to influence customers to embrace sustainability.

“It’s also important for the industry to get its own house in order, and it’s shocking that only one in nine agencies have a net-zero strategy in place. 

“There are some easy wins for agencies, with less than half of firms switching to a green energy supplier and using a smart electricity meter. These changes make a big difference and are the first steps towards helping the industry embrace net zero.”