Four Indian cities have made it to the list of top-20 sustainable cities in the Asia Pacific region. Bengaluru has been ranked 14th, the only Indian city to achieve the ‘Gold Standard’ category, followed by Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai at 17th, 18th and 20th ranks in the Asia Pacific region, according to a report by international property consultant Knight Frank.
Titled Active Capital Asia-Pacific - Rising Capital in Uncertain Times, the report says that this also augurs well for the development of the Indian real estate sector towards creating green and sustainable living spaces.
“New market dynamics have propelled the growth of sustainable development in India. The global commitment to carbon neutrality and net zero (emissions) is firmly focused on creating environmentally-friendly premises has led Indian developers to augment their products to meet the requirements. With more and more occupiers demanding for sustainable, green and well standard buildings, we expect these features to become a universal standard, rather than a novelty, in the foreseeable future,” says Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director, Knight Frank India.
“As indicated in our Sustainability Index, four Indian markets feature in top 20 in the APAC region which is a good indication of the real estate sector’s commitment to creating sustainable development,” he adds.
Singapore, Sydney, Wellington, Perth, and Melbourne are the five green-rated cities in commercial real estate in the Asia-Pacific region, the report further mentioned.
The report also highlighted that India’s Green Bonds issuance increased by a whopping 523 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) from $1.1 billion in 2020 to $6.8 billion in 2021.
Green bonds are a specific kind of fixed income instrument designated to raise funds for projects related to the environment and climate.
As of now, India is the sixth-largest country in the Asia Pacific region in terms of the total amount of green bonds issued in 2021. According to the report Green bond issuances that were harshly impacted by the pandemic in 2020 recovered in 2021, and even surpassed pre-pandemic levels, posting up of 116.9 per cent from $3.1 billion raised in 2019.
Neil Brookes, head of global capital markets, Knight Frank, says: “Over the last few years, investors have been putting more emphasis on environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-focused strategies to maximise their returns. Recent years have witnessed a rapid embrace of ESG measures benchmarking in the APAC region, driven by the pressing need to reduce climate risks. In the past, adopting sustainable methods have shown to strengthen investment portfolio. With debt cost soaring, yield-seeking investors will also be compelled to move up the risk curve to secure the desired spreads, and many will gravitate to more active asset management strategies.”