The ESG Revolution
How environmental responsibility yields savings, profits, and a competitive edge
Even the savviest, smartest executives face a vexing challenge that cuts right to the heart of piloting a thriving real estate portfolio: that is, striking a thoughtful balance between ESG (environmental, social, and governance) planning and what investors want.
As to the latter concern, investors make no secret of their top priority. They want to see both short-term and long-term gains on your real estate holdings. Unfortunately, ESG and sustainability reporting concerns might seem to contradict profit-driven goals. At the very least, ESG doesn’t seem to need the same level of attention that other cost drivers do. Or is it time to rethink the stereotype?
In a word, yes.
ESG plays a crucial role in real estate success. For today more than ever, a top-notch sustainability reporting framework helps smart companies achieve an all-out win. To be sure, it enhances your reputation, manages risk, and does right by the environment. But it also yields cost savings. A measurable return on investment. Benefits that grow over time.
And perhaps best of all, those with an ESG plan gain an advantage in the marketplace. Period. More investors now demand cutting-edge sustainability reporting that helps hit established goals. And there’s no turning back. The ranks of ESG-attuned investors—as well as the capital they carry—will continue to explode as we close in on a new decade. The business case for sustainability reporting has been made.
Utilities: A cost center that counts
Consider the three highest cost drivers in your commercial real estate portfolio: taxes, human capital working in the building, and utilities. What do the first two have in common? You manage and measure them very closely—down to the nickel. But historically, utilities have been ignored.
When tracking data for sustainability reporting you gain more control over utilities, resulting in substantial cost savings and operational efficiencies to outpace your competitors.
7 Steps to Launching an ESG Plan:
1. Set overall goals. Consider investors, shareholders, owners and joint venture partners. What are your current ESG challenges and financial/time targets?
2. Create a budget. How much are you willing to spend? Can you get funding? And can you implement cost reductions to boost your ENERGY STAR score?
3. Construct an ESG framework. How will a new sustainability reporting plan apply to your overall portfolio? How will you monitor progress and reach goals?
4. Address regulatory concerns. How will you handle regulatory changes? What kind of required reporting to government agencies is involved? What are your benchmarking standards and how will you meet them?
5. Build a sustainability team. Get property management buy-in. Do you own your team or outsource? Will it follow guidelines on its own or will you work with it?
6. Start a process to check progress. Hold quarterly meetings to check progress, goals reached, benchmarks and lessons learned. Compare to other ESGs.
7. Promote your performance. How will you communicate your progress and your goals—especially to investors?
Where Goby comes in
You don’t always have the time and resources to follow the fine points of ESG planning. At Goby, that’s our passion. Our expertise. Our power to make a difference. We provide a third-party layer of transparency to give your properties far more visibility with every aspect of ESG execution, where you never had asset management before. But there’s more: We also leverage our property-level tools to land you a step ahead in managing things right.
Making Goby part of your game plan
Goby’s approach to sustainability reporting is as painless as it is profitable. We streamline and optimize your submission process management on a single, cloud-based platform that features:
• Automated and seamless integrations to major reporting organizations
• KPI and goal tracking
• Increased data coverage
The result: Your internal and external sustainability initiatives are centralized and easily shared with key stakeholders.
Yet Goby goes far beyond your basic need to provide integrations to reporting organizations. You’ll also benefit from our peerless support, every step of the way.
• Our team of Data Analysts ensures that all data is collected professionally and requirements are met.
• Goby Consulting narrates your sustainability story to highlight your progress and successes.
• We provide additional insights and expertise to optimize your ratings.
Think about attracting and keeping investors where other property owners can’t. We believe that when you weigh things out, you’ll the see exciting opportunities. It’s not merely about what’s possible, but 100 percent achievable.
We invite you to take action. Let’s work together to build your success. Watch a webinar about how GRESB is growing the CRE space. Watch here.