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Fitwel Announces Certified Metrics Pilot to Substantiate Value & Risk
In Collaboration with EVORA Global, New Pilot Marks Codification of Metrics Connecting Health and Well-Being to “S” in ESG for Commercial Real Estate Industry
Fitwel®, the healthy building certification platform operated by the Center for Active Design (CfAD) and Active Design Advisors Inc. (Adai), announced today the launch of its Certified Metrics pilot in partnership with sustainable technology and services company EVORA Global. A global first for the industry, the new tool is a giant step forward in validating data for real estate, addressing the growing need for a rigorous and standardized approach to integrate the ‘Social,” including health and well-being measures, into ESG reporting.
Voluntary ESG reporting is booming, but 46% of investors find the ‘S’ to be the most difficult ESG factor to analyze and embed into investment strategies (BNP Paribas, 2019). 69% of investors believe having an external certification or validation would give them more confidence in assessing the accuracy of a company’s reporting (PwC, 2022), and so the Certified Metrics is a direct response to industry demand.
Certified Metrics will enable real estate firms to assess an entire fund or portfolio against an evidence-based standard, generate data insights about social and material risk, verify their performance through a third-party review, and compare that performance to peers. Certified Metrics can be used across funds and portfolios with a variety of asset types, ultimately delivering data-driven insights to inform investment decisions. Fitwel’s entity-level solution builds on the latest health evidence base by, for the first time, connecting health outcomes with economic value, pointing to clear substantiation of value and risk.
Certified Metrics offers an answer to a question the global market has asked for some time: how do we quantify and validate the “Social” component of ESG for real estate investors, and how can it be applied universally? Europe has largely been at the forefront of developing solutions to this question, and now, EVORA and Fitwel will standardize a solution that can be successful globally. The key to this anticipated success is in providing an evidence-based reporting framework that will result in verified outcomes, thus making Social reporting clear and straightforward industry-wide.
The pilot is part of Fitwel’s ever-growing suite of product offerings as it expands beyond its flagship role as a healthy building certification to a comprehensive data and insights platform that drives market transformation for the industry. Earlier this year, Fitwel released its Relational Data Insights Tool which measures asset performance of Fitwel-certified projects.
“Given that ‘S’ metrics are still in their infancy in terms of ESG reporting, what matters most is where you stand in relation to the rest of the market. This is the appeal of Certified Metrics – in offering a much-needed pathway for companies to maximize the value they are creating by prioritizing health.”
Joanna Frank, Fitwel President & CEO
“For the first time, we will have a codified standard for social impact in real estate across the world. Codification is a major milestone for ‘Social’ as it has long suffered from a lack of comparable metrics and benchmarks. This is no longer the case. Acting as industry partners, EVORA has been working with Fitwel to develop a widely applicable standard that works across all asset classes. The Social pillar is finally maturing and I’m very proud that EVORA is helping to drive this change.”
Sarah Coughlan, EVORA Global Associate Director
The first phase of the Certified Metrics pilot will be led by Fitwel Leadership Advisory Board (LAB) members BGO, Hudson Pacific Properties, Lendlease Americas, QuadReal Property Group, Tishman Speyer, and Vornado Realty Trust. The full pilot cohort, which will soon be announced, is expected to focus on six targeted outcomes with proven impact on health and financial value: Supporting a High-Quality Environment; Creating Climate Change Resilience & Preparedness; Engaging with Occupants and Community Stakeholders; Promoting Equity; Optimizing Asset for Walking & Active Transportation; and Enhancing Access to Natural Elements.
Fitwel Certified Metrics will deliver increased value by providing:
- A report showcasing a fund or portfolio’s certified metrics, including key stats and narratives to bolster regulation and compliance reporting as well as marketing and ESG submissions
- Rankings to provide valuable insights on how a fund performs compared to others in the industry
- A gap analysis highlighting specific areas for targeted investment and improvement over time
“EVORA’s long-standing relationship with Fitwel has moved a step closer now thanks to our collaboration on the Certified Metrics standard. We are delighted to be part of the first independent industry framework to address social wellbeing and climate resilience factors and look forward to further insights from our pilot scheme participants who are key to ensuring the metrics can be adopted across global markets.”
Philippa Gill, EVORA Global Executive Director, Strategic Accounts
Fitwel is the world’s leading certification system committed to building health for all. Generated by expert analysis of 7,000+ academic research studies, Fitwel is implementing a vision for a healthier future where all buildings and communities are enhanced to strengthen health and well-being. Fitwel was originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration. The CDC remains the research and evaluation partner for Fitwel. The Center for Active Design (CfAD), a global not-for-profit organization, maintains the Fitwel standard and conducts objective third-party assessments that lead to certified projects. CfAD’s new business unit, Adai (pronounced “a-DAY”), is charged with expanding Fitwel to the global market, administering the program while providing best-in-class customer service and technical support. To learn more about Fitwel, please visit: www.fitwel.org.
About Evora Global
EVORA Global is a premier sustainability advisor, providing comprehensive, industry-leading climate solutions for real asset investors. EVORA works with clients to improve their sustainability and reduce their climate risk. Its clients include many of the biggest names in global real estate, including Invesco Real Estate, Hines and M&G. The company provides consultancy services and has developed its own software, SIERA, which enables its clients to make investment decisions regarding climate change and sustainability. Founded in 2011 by Chris Bennett, Ed Gabbitas and Paul Sutcliffe, the company now has over 200 staff.