The importance of taking a break

We all had that feeling of being short of time and running after deadlines.

You can have it all planned, schedule all the things to do and try to be ahead of everything, however, you can never calculate the ‘human variable’.

This covers everything from missing data from clients to a colleague calling in sick… and what’s the result? Stress is added and you end up under even more pressure than before.

There is a lot of great advice out there which can help alleviate stress and provide relief while working.

One is to keep exercising and it is indeed very important. Sport increases your blood flow to the brain, which, in turn, helps you stay focused and allows you to be more productive. It’s also brilliant at reducing stress and anxiety.

For me, nothing is more powerful than taking a break and doing things that I wouldn’t normally do.

One example? I just spent the Bank Holiday weekend surfing at Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall, and meeting amazing people from everywhere in the world. I now feel full of energy and ready for the busy months ahead!

Tia, our lovely Office Manager, just came back from ten days in Belgrade, Serbia, and feels like a new woman! Having lived there in 2017 for two years, Tia loves the Serbian culture and food. She thinks “Belgrade is one of the best cities in Europe, the people are so friendly and the food is incredible!”.

Taking breaks is important in recovering from a stressful moment and they allow you to gain your energy back, both physically and mentally, which, in return, will improve your performance and productivity.

Having your energy back helps you also fight against the development of fatigue, sleep disorders and cardiovascular disease. In the long run, it brings benefits to both employees and employers as it helps to reduce ill-health, absenteeism and potential injuries; it boosts up our mental health and the ability to build healthier relationships.

Businesses need to emphasise the importance of taking breaks and remind employees to organise them throughout the year.

Time Off carried out a research project which showed that employees rate paid vacation as the No. 2 most-important benefit, after health care. However, Katie Denis, senior director and lead researcher, pointed out that many workers still do not take full advantage of this benefit.

The EVORA Health & Wellness Team took a well-deserved break in August after months planning great activities for the EVORA family. This is a summary of our holidays!

We are now ready to plan even more amazing events for our staff each month.

Stay tuned next month for the low down on how we got on with Perfume Month!

A brief history of materiality and ESG at the SEC

It is interesting reading the comments [1] to the proposed ruling by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors [2]. Points raised are diverse, but broadly fall within one of two camps; those vehemently opposed to the ruling, and those in support (often calling for more ambitious requirements over and above the proposal from the SEC). This binary grouping is neither surprising nor unexpected for the SEC, given the organization’s four-decade history of contests concerning environmental proposals. [3]

And now in 2022, the SEC is proposing extensive new disclosure requirements for publicly listed firms starting in the fiscal year 2023 (for filing in 2024) for the largest filers – those with a public float greater than $700m – with phased introduction for firms with smaller public floats.  The first compliance date will impact around 2,000 businesses and eventually impact approximately 7,000 in total. The requirements require registrants to include certain climate-related information in registration statements and periodic reports, such as on Form 10-K, including:

  • Climate-related risks and their actual or likely material impacts on the registrant’s business, strategy, and outlook
  • Climate-related risks and relevant risk management processes
  • Greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions
  • Climate-related financial statement metrics
  • Climate-related targets and goals, and transition plan, if any.

The disclosure requirements are centered around the recommendations from the Taskforce on Climate Related Disclosures (TCFD). The SEC joins eight jurisdictions that have TCFD-aligned official reporting requirements, (Brazil, European Union, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom). Additionally, the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation announced a new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) to develop a comprehensive global baseline of high-quality sustainability disclosure standards to meet investors’ information needs.

What is TCFD?

As a high-level summary, the TCFD recommendations provide a framework for businesses to identify, evaluate, manage and monitor climate related risks and opportunities. They are centered around four themes, with a total of 11 recommended disclosures.

  • Governance – what role do people play in managing and overseeing climate related issues?
  • Strategy – how will organizations change to manage future climate-risk?
  • Risk Management – what processes are in place to identify, manage and assess risk?
  • Metrics and Targets – how do you measure progress against climate-related goals?

Globally, there are over 3,400 TCFD supporters, although not all of these have disclosed in full yet. The TCFD 2021 Status Report [4] provides a breakdown of public reporting against each of the recommended disclosures; the Materials and Buildings sector captures commercial real estate, although the 404 firms reporting will not be exclusive to the buildings sector. 

The results suggest that:

  • Most firms are disclosing qualitative risks and opportunities – per Recommendation: Strategy a)
  • Materials and Buildings have highest level of Metrics and Targets disclosure
  • Scenario analysis is disclosed by only a small percentage of firms  – per Recommendation Strategy c)
  • Governance, including Board and Management oversight of climate risks and opportunities, is the next least well disclosed theme after scenario analysis – per Recommendation: Governance a) and b)

On the latter point, gaining Board buy-in and a commitment to climate-related topics is essential for strategies and risk management processes to be truly integrated. Without this, firms will be disclosing under the TCFD framework for compliance reasons only – a missed opportunity.

Disclosure rates against the 11 recommendations differ by region, with Europe leading over the period from 2018 to 2020.  Double digit increases over two years were seen across all regions, with the exception of North America, which also has the fewest percentage of firms disclosing against the 11 recommendations. The takeaway from these numbers is that the SEC is leap-frogging the comfort zone for many North American firms.

GHG data and data quality

The proposed SEC ruling requires registrant’s direct GHG emissions (Scope 1) and indirect GHG emissions from purchased electricity and other forms of energy (Scope 2) to be disclosed in absolute terms (by Scope) and as an intensity metric. Scope 3 emissions – of which there are 15 categories covering indirect upstream (i.e. related to goods or serviced purchased) and downstream (i.e. related to goods or service sold) – are, receiving a lot of attention due to the fact that Scope 3 emissions are out of direct control of landlords and data quality and coverage is often poor. Aside from small reporting companies, Scope 3 needs to be reported from FY 2024 (filing in 2025), if material.

Defining materiality is not an exact science and the lack of guidance from the SEC may result in reporting opt-outs where Boards deem the organization’s emissions to be immaterial to investor decision making. However, the quantity of emissions (tons CO2) is one method of determining materiality; the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) sets a threshold for materiality as 40% of Scope 3 in relation to Scopes 1 and 2. Other factors influencing materiality need to be considered, such as:

  • Risk – considering relevant climate-related legislative and reputational risks
  • Influence – the registrant’s influence over emissions generation and reductions e.g. percentage ownership and / or a board representation within investee companies
  • Financial – emissions associated with a high level of spend or those generating a high level of revenue.

Many of these factors will need to be considered on a case by case basis, particularly legislative risks, which will need to be considered country by country and at the city level in many instances. For large-accelerated and accelerated registrants there are additional requirements, which will have ramifications for the entire real estate industry, for limited assurance (phased introduction from 2024 for filings in 2025) and the more stringent reasonable assurance (phased introduction from 2026 for filings in 2027).  While public REITs [5] are clearly in the SEC’s crosshairs, so too are others in the real estate value chain. For example, lenders (of both debt and equity investments) will need to report their share of Scope 3 financed emissions – most likely following PCAF [6] guidance.  Similarly, corporate tenants will want to understand their upstream GHG impacts where energy is provided as part of a service e.g. where a landlord procures energy in a building and recharges costs to tenants. The proposed rules will surely impact both contractual lending and leasing agreements on data provision and, importantly, the underlying quality of that data.

Transition plans

Scope 3 emissions also need to be disclosed in a filing if a registrant has made a transition plan (decarbonization target) public that includes Scope 3. For real estate, it is common to see leaders in ESG set net zero carbon targets that include Scope 3, but this is often ringfenced as tenant energy use. As the table below indicates, there are other Scope 3 emissions that may be materially relevant beyond tenant energy use, including embodied carbon of new construction and refurbishments. How the industry responds to this requirement will be interesting to watch. REITs that understand their full Scope 3 position will be able to retain existing climate goals. Those who do not will need to get to grips with Scope 3 accounting, or be forced to take down public goals, or walk back their scope accordingly – neither action is likely to be viewed as favorable to investors that see climate risk as an investment risk.  

Source: Adapted from UKGBC: Guide to Scope 3 Reporting in Commercial Real Estate [7]

A transition plan is used to lay out actions and targets that demonstrate an entity’s pathway toward a low-carbon economy, through reducing its absolute and / or intensity-based GHG emissions or concerning exposure. There are many frameworks that set out characteristics of an effective transition plan. This includes broad industry frameworks such as UN Asset Owners Alliance, through to more sector specific guidance used by signatories of the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative issued by the IIGCC, and more besides. 

Unlike the frameworks named above, the SEC proposed rule does not provide sufficient guidance on the characteristics of an effective transition plan. For example, this may include disclosure of:

  • Base year, target end year and importantly, interim target year(s)
  • Climate scenario considered (e.g. 1.5C, 2C, 3C)
  • Type of target (e.g. absolute or intensity based)
  • Coverage and scope of the target, including narrative on any carve-outs
  • Alignment with recognized and suitable frameworks

Without specific disclosure requirements, there is a risk that transition plans may not be comparable nor decision-useful for investors – a concern raised by many commentators.

Lastly, but certainly not least, a new Article 14 to Regulation S-X would require a registrant to disclose climate-related financial metrics relating to severe weather events and other natural conditions and / or transition activities.

These financial metrics must be presented on an aggregated line-by-line basis for all negative impacts, and separately, all positive impacts where the impact is greater than 1% of the line item. If collecting Scope 3 data appears challenging, collating these financial metrics will present a gargantuan task for many registrants. Once the data is held, registrants will then face the effort of contextualizing the metrics so they don’t unduly scare investors.

Final thoughts

Overall, the SEC has moved from zero to one hundred in some incredibly far reaching, and challenging, requirements. The proposed rules lack clarity in a number of areas and will surely be revised before final issue. However, I do expect the rules to be materially similar when the final form is issued, with my prediction being year end.

Once introduced, the challenge for registrants is to view the rules “beyond compliance” and embrace the TCFD framework as a pragmatic methodology for climate change preparedness and resiliency. This mindset is essential if the US (and the world) are to achieve a just and orderly transition to a net zero economy. 


[1] https://www.sec.gov/comments/s7-10-22/s71022.htm

[2] https://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/2022/33-11042.pdf

[3] The Commission first addressed disclosure of material costs and other effects on business resulting from compliance with environmental law in a 1971 Interpretive Release.

  • The 1971 position took two years to codify and reached the final and current form in 1982, after a decade of evaluation.
  • In 1975, the Commission also concluded that it would require disclosure relating to social and environmental performance “when the information in question is material to inform investment”.
  • In 2010 SEC guidance specifically emphasized that climate change disclosure might, depending on the circumstances, be required in a company’s Description of Business, Risk Factors, Legal Proceedings, and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”).
  • In 2016, the SEC issued a Concept Release regarding the modernization of regulation S-K including on climate change, noting the growing interest in ESG disclosure among investors and also the often inconsistent and incomplete discourse due to the voluntary nature of corporate sustainability reporting.
  • Finally in 2021, input was sought by the SEC on whether current disclosures adequately inform investors. This was made at the same time the federal Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) listed climate change as an emerging threat to the financial stability of the US.

[4] https://assets.bbhub.io/company/sites/60/2021/07/2021-TCFD-Status_Report.pdf

[5] https://www.reit.com/what-reit#:~:text=REITs%2C%20or%20real%20estate%20investment,number%20of%20benefits%20to%20investors

[6] https://carbonaccountingfinancials.com/

[7] https://www.ukgbc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Scope-3-guide-for-commercial-real-estate.pdf

Will TCFD prepare organisations for the climate crisis?

Yanna Badet, Meghan Johnson, Phil Fieldhouse, Karolina Krzystek-De Ranter and Lisa Tassis

Climate Change is hard to ignore this summer:  Europe is battling heatwaves and wildfires, over 60% is in drought conditions while other parts of the world are experiencing several  1000-year floods within months. We are in a climate crisis, and we are feeling it. It is affecting all sectors, including real estate investments, as more stringent regulations are being put in place by governments to reduce emission contributions, and shareholders are demanding carbon neutrality and proof of resilient assets. And then there is the actual physical risk to contend with that can affect the value of the real assets. “TCFD” is one of the acronyms you have probably heard in this context.

So what is “TCFD” exactly and can it truly help the real estate sector prepare for the climate crisis?

TCFD is short for the Taskforce for Climate related Financial Disclosures, a group established by the Financial Stability Board in 2016. It developed recommendations for the industry on how to integrate and address climate risks to prevent climate-induced financial disaster. The premise is simple; to encourage the world’s largest companies to disclose information about how their business is affected by–and deals with–climate change. Since its inception, the recommendations have become a guideline for more than 89 countries and nearly all sectors of the economy, with a combined market capitalization of over $25.1 trillion. Governments are increasingly making the framework mandatory, for example as of this summer (July 2022 – just extended until end of August 2022), TCFD aligned disclosure is required by the UK Government for the largest investment companies, with smaller companies following in the coming years. The EU Taxonomy has similar guidelines and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) is also aligning its climate risk disclosure rules with it. So from a regulatory standpoint it can make much sense to start thinking about it now. Depending on your perspective, aligning with TCFD has additional benefits:

Primarily, investors will get access to climate-related information that enables them to compare the performance of their investments in relation to climate resilience. In theory, lower climate-related risk means better risk-adjusted investment performance, which simultaneously encourages investment into more resilient assets.

Secondly, the disclosing companies will be the ones to identify, manage, and monitor the risk of climate change on their business. This provides the strategic oversight required for risks to be managed and helps companies to proactively address the climate-related issues they face.

Thus, the TCFD process can lead to proactive climate risk management, more investment into futureproof, decarbonized and climate resilient assets versus the contrary, and increased capacity within the industry to make more climate-conscious and therefore lower risk investment decisions. All of which is already being demanded by many shareholders and will only continue to pay off, as climate risks increase.

There is of course a balance to be struck for real estate investors and managers: invest the “right” amount so that risks are averted, while keeping investments rewarding.

To respond to and reduce the impacts of climate impacts on the real estate and other sectors, two main things have to be addressed :

  1. Mitigation – by drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid further contributing to climate change – and become independent from fossil fuels; and
  2. Adaptation – to increase the resilient capacity of assets to climate impacts. This concerns  both physical, and the less tangible ‘systemic’ (i.e. social or economic), aspects.

One of the challenges is certainly a remaining level of uncertainty when it comes to climate change. At the same time, catastrophic climate impacts are already happening now, even effects that were forecasted to happen in the distant future only a few years ago, are materializing now. Thus the element of time is important to consider. There is none to be wasted. We believe that the more information investors and asset managers have, the better informed these decisions can be made. The TCFD, with its framework to define, capture, and disclose anyclimate-related information that relates to investment risk, financial position & performance, business planning and strategic decision-making, at a minimum provides a good starting point to ensure opportunities and threats are not missed and risk reduction can be acted on. In its latest Guidance update, the TCFD also published Guidance on Metrics, Targets, and Transition Plans to further support financial statement preparers in disclosing decision-useful information and linking those disclosures with estimates of financial impacts. Such information will help users better assess their investment, lending, and underwriting risks – and inform paths and progress toward net zero. This makes TCFD a useful and timely mechanism for companies and organisations to begin to understand and manage these risks, helping them to more prepared for the unfolding and increasingly irreversible climate crisis.

The full 2021 Status Report, updated Annex, and guidance document are available on the TCFD website. TCFD will deliver its next status report to the FSB in September 2022.

A reflection on my first ever GRESB season

My first GRESB season was an experience. From the get-go, there is a lot to understand and take in – and in a very short space of time. Whilst GRESB aims to be a global ESG benchmark, I was still taken back by the scope of the questions and the level of data required. Without the use of SIERA, being able to manage all this information would have been extremely difficult and it just goes to show the value that the platform has – both to EVORA and our clients. Within the 2022 assessment period, EVORA has supported over 190 fund submissions.

To successfully complete a submission, the importance of planning cannot be underestimated. This is especially true when looking at the performance category, which is also the section that carries the most points. Through SIERA it is easy to prepare all this information and identify variances and gaps in data, which must then be remedied. This is where having strong client engagement is vital as it helps to make this process a lot easier. 

More broadly speaking, I am impressed with how GRESB is designed to constantly promote the real estate sector to improve its sustainability performance. This is primarily done through the design of the rating system in place. This splits all the entries into their quintile position relative to all the participants, with the top quintile receiving a 5-star rating. Having dynamic boundaries means that the sector is constantly having to improve and cannot rely on previous actions to guarantee a good score.

The preliminary results of this year’s assessment will be published on September 1st, and we wish all our clients the best with their submissions.

If you would like any support with your GRESB submissions, or any other sustainability issue, please reach out to the team at EVORA and we will be happy to help.

Booked for July

This month was all about taking it down a gear and going easy on our minds and bodies after a hectic GRESB period. After working towards a big deadline, it’s so important to take some time and check in with yourself. We thought one of the best ways to do this would be to have a month dedicated to books. Our main aim for Booked For July was to take it slow with no pressure of deadlines but plenty of book activities to calm and relax.

Whether you prefer self-help books or fantasy books that transport you away to another world, there is no better feeling that getting comfy with a book and, maybe, an iced tea considering the July heatwaves! And yet when we are busy, we never carve out time to read, despite the fact that reading reduces stress, improves our concentration, expands our vocabulary, enhances our knowledge and increases our imagination and creativity. All these together increment our wellbeing!

We started the month by creating a Book Swap Library where EVORians could bring in books for others to borrow. We made inserts so that the book owners could tell others a bit about the book. You could write what this book made you feel or what you think the next reader should be doing while reading that book – for Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight book it was recommended that you be drinking wine in the ruins of a church to really get into the mind space of the book.

We decided that having the Book Swap in the office is a great way to get people back in to reading but, also, for books that people don’t want back, it was a brilliant way to recycle them. So as well as picking up a read that’s recommended by our fellow EVORians, we are also doing our bit to give these books a second go at life.

We’ve also had book mark making arts and crafts in the break out room for the month. These were left out the whole time, so whenever people needed a break from the ordinary they could pop into the Library and create a bookmark. We had tonnes of pens and pencils for drawing on the bookmarks, googly eyes, and even scratch to reveal bookmarks. If, like me, you are not artistic at all and struggle to even draw a ghost, then these bookmarks are for you! They came with stencils and all you had to do was scratch away your chosen design to reveal the colourful rainbow beneath – yet I still managed to make my elephant look quite angry!

Lastly, we introduce the Book Club. This was something that anyone from any country could join in with. We asked everyone for book recommendations and did a poll to choose the book for the month. This is something we will be continuing for the rest of the year – we’ve chosen the themes for each month and are looking forward to meeting up to discuss the books.

This month’s theme was a beach read, as so many people are on holiday at the moment. The winner of the poll was Beach Read by Emily Henry, which the whole group have enjoyed immensely. We will be meeting next week to discuss the book, with people from outside London joining remotely.

We’ve enjoyed taking it easy this month and have decided to keep our book swap library open. We should always strive to make a positive change wherever we can!

EVORA Insights Roundtable Summary

Can private credit/debt have an ESG impact?

On the 17th June, on a hot day in London, we were joined by eight clients for a roundtable lunch including some of the largest private real estate debt funds. We were there to discuss how private credit/debt can effectively progress ESG objectives when these products do not have the same level of control and stakeholder engagement as equity investment funds.

When there is such a significant need for transition funding, shouldn’t lending have a significant part to play in the decarbonisation of buildings, in adaptation, in health and wellbeing, in nature conservation?

It was clear from the outset that there were some strong differences of opinion – perfect conditions for a rich discussion.

At the root of these differences was a deep sense of ambiguity about regulations and an overwhelming lack of standardisation in investor preferences and data reporting requirements. This is compounded by the fact that banks and non-bank lenders have different viewpoints and appetites for risk, as well as the EU and US seeing ESG and financial risk from different perspectives. Even within the EU we see different country regulators transposing the rules in differing ways.

Pricing ESG risk (and opportunity) into debt is a clear point of differentiation – with some lenders seeing sustainable development objectives as requiring a higher cost of capital, whilst others see the benefits and are offering discounts. Some revelled in the challenge of a reduced borrowing universe whilst others remained concerned about how distribution could be made more complex by ESG. Some see the first-mover advantage as already passed whilst others see that first movement as a challenge, particularly under the shadow of an increasing number of greenwash accusations.

Plotting a way through this uncertainty takes time and effort without there being a clear endpoint in sight for the evolution of sustainable finance. An unintended consequence of the regulations flowing from the EU Action Plan for Sustainable Finance is that it has created some market inertia due to the fear of incorrect interpretation in their application, particularly in Alternatives.

Everyone expected the momentum behind the ESG agenda to increase, even after the broadside from Stuart Kirk at HSBC and from other commentators. However, Kirk’s comments on a 6-year time horizon (or less) has struck a chord in financial services, even though the delivery of this message was poor. The lending term or an investment hold period does make a difference when considering one’s fiduciary duty.

Over lunch, there were strong positions advocating for morality, for risk prudence and for a traditional interpretation of fiduciary duty that can’t compromise on financial returns. Could we reconcile these different points of view?

Despite the need for competitiveness and differentiation in this market, there was a clear desire for collaboration in certain areas. Data standardisation being one. A clear regulatory pathway being another recognising the challenge of transitioning legacy assets and the significant capital already deployed against these assets.

If financial market regulators were able to set out minimum standards now, for Art. 8 funds as an example, and a roadmap for how they could ratchet up over time, this would allow debt providers to plan and cycle their portfolio in the right way.

Those who have begun to screen borrowers on ESG, observed that the response from borrowers has been very positive, both from large and small companies. Which suggests that gathering the right data is possible. The challenge being that investor DDQs were often different, which is time consuming throughout the financial chain. There was agreement that there is nothing in the market that meets this needs for standardisation at this time.

Our discussion showed that this is a rich vein of conversation with a need for real action to move the debt market forwards. EVORA will continue to support the evolution of the market by engaging with the top debt providers and their investors.

EVORians sweatin’ it out’

Fresh on the heels of our Walk This May challenge, we kept our fingers on the pulse with our June Bootcamp.

You are probably aware that June is known as GRESB season at EVORA. For our consultants, this is the biggest deadline of the year, with a larger than normal workload. It can be super stressful, so the Health and Wellness team wanted to make sure the activities and theme this month fitted in with the consultants’ busy schedules and helped them combat stress and keep a healthy mindset.

Therefore, we had Liam, a personal trainer and nutritional coach, run two sessions a week for the company, via Teams. This was optional to join, with no commitment to come to every session. It was important to us that it was held virtually so that anyone from the company could join in, no matter where they are located.

On Wednesdays, we met at 8:40am GMT to have a HIIT (high intensity interval training) session. As the name suggests, this really got us going before work on a Wednesday. It was great to see colleagues from around Europe join in and exercise together. It was great how we managed to warm up and down and still get a great heart pumping session in, all in 20 minutes.

Exercise is so important to mental wellbeing, getting the blood flowing, reducing anxiety and increasing cognitive functions. It’s also a great way to stay fit, especially for us office based lot who are used to a more sedentary lifestyle. Sara soon realized that when she works out in the morning “my mood is much better and I eat healthier during the day”

These HIIT sessions were great at working up a sweat and putting you in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day. EVORians were encouraged, and for Emma “doing the energiser has made me feel more alert and ready to crack on.”

On the Friday session, we slowed it down with a more sedate session. This one was held at lunchtime and had us stretching and releasing all the built up tension from the week. This was a great way to end the week, and Sarah felt it was “lovely to spend some time undoing all the hours of sitting that I do in a week.”

Straight after the more relaxed session was our regular meditation meeting on Teams. We’ve had this weekly since lockdown and is now led by one of our very own – Matt has been meditating daily for 7 years now and knows the importance of breathing exercises and meditation for both the mind and body.

Matt uses Headspace for the sessions, which all EVORians have access to once they’ve passed their probation. These sessions are a personal highlight of my week, giving me 15 minutes to breathe and take a second to align my thoughts and meditate. Like the bootcamp, there is no pressure to come to every session and anyone can join wherever they are based.

After this month, many of us are committed to keeping up a HIIT session weekly – that adrenaline rush after a workout is hard to beat and the positive effects for the rest of the day huge. As Andrea said, the exercise “helps to focus my mind on something else.  I feel like I can concentrate better afterwards.” Whether this was people’s first time trying HIIT or they are regulars at the gym, we have all seen the benefits of adding a 20 minute session to our weekly routines.

Huge thanks to Liam for leading the sessions this month.

CSRD: Is your organisation ready for the new ESG reporting requirements in Europe?

Further signs this week that the EU is seeking to strengthen environmental and social reporting requirements; Tuesday saw MEPs and EU national governments strike a provisional deal which would require major corporates to report on how their businesses impact on both people and the environment.

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will require that major businesses – defined as organisations with over 250 employees and a €40 million turnover – report their social and environmental impact against common standards. Tuesday’s move is an amendment to 2014’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) which set out its aim to encourage: “investors, civil society organisations, consumers, policymakers and other stakeholders to evaluate the non-financial performance of large companies and encourages these companies to develop a responsible approach to business”. The CSRD, if it can find agreement in the European Council and Parliament, will bolster the need for reporting on key social and environmental activities. These include requirements for:

  • The audit (assurance) of reported information
  • Detailed reporting requirements, and a requirement to report according to mandatory EU sustainability reporting standards
  • Digital ‘tagging’ the reported information, so it is machine readable and feeds into the European single access point envisaged in the capital markets union action plan.

In his overview of the drivers behind the CSRD, Pascal Durand, who led negotiations was clear:

“The European extra-financial audit market will be standardised, much more rigorous and transparent. Parliament succeeded in securing an opening of the audit market by member states in order to make room for new certified players to become major players and not just leave it in the hands of the financial auditors, notably the big four”.

The agreement, which if enacted will apply equally to public and private companies meeting the Accounting Directive size threshold, will be required to report on environmental, human rights, social standards and work ethics issues. Likewise, major non-EU businesses will be subject to the same provisions. In a nod to the difficulties comprehensive reporting can represent to smaller businesses, the agreement lays out a provision to less rigorous reporting for qualifying SME businesses and subcontractors.

The drive towards common standards is a welcome one, although details on those standards is not yet available. However, this year’s launch of the Social Taxonomy consultation gives an early indicator of the EU’s planned direction.  

If you would like to discuss the above with our ESG experts, you can get in touch with them today.

EVORA Global partners with Fitwel to drive wellness in the built environment

Over recent years the focus on people-centric places within the built environment has gathered pace, with investors and tenants alike looking for ways to quantify and recognise the impact of buildings on their occupants as well as the wellbeing credentials of these spaces. This has been driven by a variety of factors, not least the growing evidence linking the quality of a building to occupant’s health and increased understanding of how the wider built environment impacts our daily lives.

With this in mind, EVORA launched its new Social Wellbeing service line in June, offering a holistic approach to Social Value and Health & Wellbeing. Having wanted to combine these two people-focused services for some time, EVORA’s new service line will provide best-in-class social value and health and wellbeing services backed by a robust methodology.

EVORA recognises the importance of healthy buildings and the positive impact they can have on their occupants and is therefore excited to announce it has become an official Fitwel Partner. Fitwel is one of the world’s leading certification systems which assess the impact of the buildings in which we live and work on our daily lives and long-term health. It describes itself as “a data driven certification system which aims to optimise buildings to support occupant health and well-being”.

Bringing together well-established best practice in built environment wellbeing and a blend of quantitative and qualitative social value frameworks, such as Fitwel, EVORA will be well positioned in an increasingly sophisticated market which will demand meaningful social and health engagement.

Philippa Gill, Executive Director, said of the partnership:

“We have worked with Fitwel for many years now and we are delighted to be formalising this relationship now.  Fitwel’s approach to data and evidence-based strategies aligns well with EVORA’s approach to impact through information and we look forward to the next stage in our impact-driven evolution together.”

Joanna Frank, President and CEO of CfAD, operator of Fitwel, said of the partnership:

“Our new Fitwel Provider and Fitwel Partner programs are helping further raise awareness of healthy building strategies that ensure increased occupant and tenant satisfaction. By aligning with and promoting Fitwel’s mission, we are thrilled to have such a great partner in EVORA, which is putting health and well-being at the forefront of its commitment to a people-centric approach through the built environment.”

See EVORA’s recent Fitwel work: PATRIZIA achieves Fitwel certification with the support of EVORA | EVORA Global

Walk like an EVORian

The Health & Wellness team have done it again!

May was all about getting into teams and walking as much as we could, for the WALK THIS MAY challenge. We were inspired by the UK national walking month and felt that, after the success of the Race the Thames charity event in January, this would be a great way to get EVORians active, help them unwind, and bring people from different teams and locations together.

There are several benefits we can gain from walking, such as muscle strength, weight loss and circulation improvement. Walking can also massively benefit our mental health, lightening our mood as it releases natural endorphins. A good walk can also help improve our sleep.

We were stunned to receive over 40 volunteers for this challenge, which allowed us to create 8 teams in total. We have to say, EVORians are brilliant at coming up with team names! Some of the favourites include Scrambled Legs, Red Hot Chili Steppers, and my personal favourite, Walky McWalk Face.

Every team did brilliantly, getting their steps in come rain or shine. It was amazing how quickly the teams got into the million steps bracket, putting their best foot forward in racking up the steps.

Huge congratulations go to the winning team ‘Walk like an EVORian’. They absolutely smashed the challenge, coming in at 1,865,784 steps.

We are so proud of everyone, and have had great feedback on how this encouraged colleagues to talk to one another regularly; especially, those of us who don’t usually interact, as we are in different teams with different duties and we are located in several countries. Each team had a private chat on Teams so everyone could write about their walks and share photos, so no one was restricted based on where they are located in the world.

In our team, we had 3 people based in London, one in Edinburgh in Scotland, and one in Berlin. It was wonderful when we shared photos of things we’d seen on our walks, and has definitely made me want to visit Edinburgh and Berlin this year. Everyone agreed that unless walking with a partner or friends, you had to have some form of audio as company and several EVORians shared podcast recommendations, audiobook suggestions and music playlists.

As well as private team chats, there was also one Teams chat for every participant to join in. Our colleagues in more rural parts of the UK wowed us city folk with pictures of rolling green hills and it goes without saying that we had several pictures of dogs and other amazing animals… even a selfie with a herd of cows!

Now that the challenge has ended, we definitely feel like we’ve incorporated walking more into our daily lives, making it more of a habit rather than a chore. Our team will be keeping up the steps, choosing walking over public transport when we can. This might all change in the winter, but with the sun shining and a list of podcasts to get through, for now, we will take it one step at a time.