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The Sustainability Case for Business

Upon reading a number of recent sustainability articles; “2018 will be fourth hottest year on record…”,  “Humans are damaging the oceans in profound ways”, “Earth’s resources consumed in ever greater destructive volumes”, I am left pondering what priority is this critically important issue being given at a time when – more than ever – the evidence is right before our eyes?


There is now more pressure on organisations, companies and individuals to act as ‘Sustainability Stewards’ for society and the environment. Especially with a UK government lost in the quagmire of Brexit, dealing a serious blow to real sustainability policy, legislation and leadership.

Over the past decade or so, I have witnessed some improvement in the nature of organisation and client conversations in this space; however, challenges on making the business case for sustainability do remain.

My hope is that energy efficiency practices, environmental standards and initiatives become default best practice in every organisation…  Don’t get me wrong, there are some very pro-active organisations leading the charge. However, wider adoption is needed to really embed the levels of sustainability required to reduce and mitigate the impact of climate change.

The built environment is rapidly expanding. It is critical that a genuine understanding of how these buildings perform and impact the environment throughout their lifecycle is developed and disseminated to all. Surely it makes sense to futureproof property assets, securing their long term value and sustainability? At the same time, these solutions will deliver on wider sustainability goals that protect the planet and our finite resources.

To help lead the charge, EVORA focuses on using accurate data to benchmark and track performance across various types of real estate. This forms the basis of an holistic approach to develop definitive end to end solutions for our clients to support their strategies, through feasible initiatives that enhances the operation of their assets and the wellbeing of their occupants .

I will finish on a positive note, there are signs of positive action where EVORA have helped clients: “Monitoring & Targeting delivers 30% energy savings”, “16% increase in recycling & zero waste to landfill”, “Ground breaking approach to BIM results in proposal to reduce CO2 emissions on all new developments by 20%”.

If we can continue this trajectory then we are certainly heading in the right direction. We just need to up the momentum and reframe the conversation to make the “sustainability case for business!”


To speak to a member of the team about how we can support you, please contact us.

Global green building sector to double by 2018

A major new survey reveals the proportion of building companies planning to secure green certification for over 60% of their projects will increase from 18% to 37% by 2018.

Over 1000 professionals and 69 countries were surveyed for the report, carried out by Dodge Data & Analytics and United Technologies Corporation.

“The survey shows that global green building activity continues to double every three years,” said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer at United Technologies Corporation, in a statement. “More people recognise the economic and productivity value that it bring to property owners and tenants, along with the energy and water benefits to the environment, which is driving the green building industry’s growth. It’s a win-win for people, planet and the economy.”

Full article via Business Green.

Integrating Climate Risks in Real Estate

Real Estate Investor members of UNEP FI, CERES – INCR, IGCC, IIGCC, PRI and the RICS believe it is economically and practicably feasible for the real estate sector to play a significant role in limiting global temperature increase to 2°C.

The Integrating Climate Risks in Real Estate paper summarises key roles, risks and opportunities for real estate investors.

Important facts to note:

  • The building sector consumes approximately 40% of the world’s energy and contributes to 30% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The global universe of investable real estate is worth about $50 trillion.
  • New buildings can easily be built to use 30-50% less energy than required by most energy codes dating back to 2005.
  • There is growing evidence across geographies that a climate friendly and sustainable real estate sector can both preserve and increase asset value.
  • Technology and operating processes are currently being used to improve energy efficiency of existing building portfolios by a further 2-4% each year.
  • The scale of the investment opportunity in energy efficiency building retrofits globally will rise to US$300 billion annually by 2020 and is supported by a robust business case.
  • Yet, the current rate of investments is a fifth of that required to stay within the desired less than 2°C pathway.

 

Further reading relating to the real estate sector and the recent events at COP21:

FM World: Business Pledges Huge Building Carbon Cuts 

GreenBiz: Why Tackling Climate Change is Good for Business 

GreenBiz: 4 City Initiatives out of COP21

GEF: A report on Sustainable Cities and the approach to attempt to promote urban sustainability.

Why the business case for sustainability can’t be based on numbers alone

If companies are going to make a significant step towards sustainability, they need to look beyond short term profit. Charles Eisenstein makes the case.

Read the full article on the Guardian here