20 years on, Ethical Property continues to change the way we all profit from property:; socially, environmentally and financially. We have successully completed our new building in Bethnal Green, The Green House, and we are about to begin the fit-out of our new building in Bristol, Streamline. We are continuing to improve our financial performance and are implementing an in-depth strategy to develop our people.
Our financial results for the year are pleasing. We are reporting an increase in profits of 13% (EBIT), the biggest contributor to this being The Foundry, which has paid dividends for the first time this year. We have also seen an 8% increase in the value of the portfolio.
We are thrilled to continue providing support for a fantastic range of tenants throughout the past year, all the way from sole traders to larger, global organisations. This year, 84% of respondents from our Tenants Survey reported that being in an Ethical Property Centre had a positive or very positive impact in terms of fulfilling their strategic objectives (84% last year). As in previous years, the location of the centres, the ethos of Ethical Property and the presence of like-minded organisations were reported as particularly positive factors. 83% were positive or very positive about the impact of our services on their day-to-day operations (82% last year).
In the last year, for our owned properties, overall energy use increased by 8.1% (over a slightly greater floor area due to the inclusion of St Pauls Learning Centre) and the total associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased.
A review of properties’ performance will take place in the coming months. Although to date the process of improvement of our centres has tended to reduce emissions, we are aware that there is a limit to what we can achieve with the buildings that we have, even with further investment. We have therefore prepared a seven-year environmental plan to ensure that we continue to meet our targets, through environmental evaluation of potential acquisitions.
Our strong performance is only possible given the work of our staff, who are dedicated to the Company and who have worked hard over the last year to ensure our underlying business continues to grow whilst also enabling us to secure new projects. Our people are key to our success and we are pleased our annual staff survey again showed high levels of enthusiasm amongst staff for working for the company, and a pleasing degree of shared values. Over 94% of respondents said that they enjoyed working for the company and 98.5% felt that they fully or partly agreed with the company’s values.
While we continue to present an overview of our Triple Bottom Line performance in our printed Annual Reports, we provide more detailed social and environmental data and analysis in our Performance Supplement document, which is produced in an online format only and can be printed on request to anyone who would like a paper copy. Please contact invest [at] ethicalproperty.co.uk for more information.