Schulich professor wins research prize for paper on sustainable real estate investment

Professor Avis Devine of the Schulich School of Business at York University has been awarded the 2017 Nick Tyrell Research Prize for her paper “Decomposing the Value Effects of Sustainable Real Estate Investment: International Evidence”. The paper’s co-author is Erkan Yonder of Ozygein University, Istanbul, who also received the award.

Avis Devine Schulich York U
Avis Devine

The award was granted by INREV, IPF and SPR, and was announced Oct. 5.

The paper (available for download here) considers the effects of sustainable investment on the value and performance of listed real estate investment firms, comparing countries with and without mandatory environmental reporting on investment properties.

The findings suggest that environmental reporting requirements may facilitate improvements in the environmental performance of properties and enhance transparency.

“This paper develops earlier work, which was sponsored by the European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA),” said Devine. “While evidence exists that REITs with a sustainable component to their portfolio outperform the competition, no research has shown how those sustainable properties are impacting firm value and performance.

“We decompose asset and firm-level activities to identify how the sustainable assets are impacting both asset and firm level cash flows, and do so in two countries with highly differentiated environmental reporting requirements.”

The paper was selected from a total for 23 submissions, and according to Paul McNamara, chair of the judging panel, the decision from the panel was unanimous in deciding the winner of the 2017 prize.

“This is a well-written paper tackling a difficult, topical issue. The authors have taken care to explain the implications of their results and I think the subject matter and findings should prove relevant to many of the sponsors’ members,” said McNamara.