Singapore based Elite Commercial REIT Management, the manager of the Elite Commercial REIT, will invest £12.5 million on sustainability and climate adoption improvements at premises occupied by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in line with the UK government’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The works are scheduled to take three years following the signing of a new agreement with The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Asset enhancement works meeting pre-agreed criteria include repair, replacement or upgrade of lighting, heating and cooling systems, insulation and solar panels, and other initiatives to improve the Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”) ratings of all REIT properties occupied by the DWP.
Ms Shaldine Wang, Elite Commercial REIT Management CEO, says: “We are pleased to embark on this public-private collaborative effort, which came about as a result of our regular proactive engagement with the DWP.
“We fully support the UK Government’s push for transition to net zero carbon emissions. Investing in retrofitting works to enhance the energy efficiency ratings of assets in the portfolio will contribute towards reducing their environmental impact.
“This win-win initiative demonstrates our commitment to adapt our portfolio to address sustainability and climate change requirements, and to extend the relevance of our assets to tenants.
Separately, Elite Commercial REIT and DWP have also agreed to re-gear a significant number of leases of DWP‑occupied properties by removing lease break options. Lease break options have been removed from the leases for 100 of the 117 DWP-occupied assets which had break clauses occurring in 2023. Following the lease re‑gearing, 78.6% of the leases by total portfolio by gross rental income will continue straight to 2028 without any lease break options.
The DWP is the largest public service department in the United Kingdom and responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. It serves more than 23 million claimants and plays an instrumental role in supporting the country’s social fabric, and administering the State Pension and a range of working age, disability and ill health benefits.