What is EVORA Global doing as a business to tackle climate change?

Climate change is becoming an extremely popular combination of words; we can hear people talking more and getting interested in the topic, newspapers and tv releasing more information and adverts, and new sustainable start-ups rising in every sector.

Globally, we have seen an increased number of climate change manifestations and activist groups, and interactions around the keyword ‘sustainability’ grew 45.8% on Facebook and 30% on Instagram [1], proving that people are looking to connect with each over and with experts to become more knowledgeable about the topic and to act together.

In the last year, there has been a switch in many investors’ mindsets who are finally seeing climate change as the number one sustainability priority according to a poll of asset owners from more than 32 countries which came together for the Top1000funds.com online Sustainability event in March. 79% of investors said that climate is their number one ESG priority and this number is due to increase; more green funds will be provided to businesses who want to start or implement their sustainability journey.

This year, EVORA conducted an Investor Survey and one of the key findings is that a growing number of investors believe ESG will become common practice in 2022.  50% of respondents plan to include an ESG representative in their investment committee in the coming year. They said that integration of ESG in investment decision-making will mature in 2022 and more ESG focus is expected in the following investment lifecycle areas: investment mandates, deal sourcing, research and strategy, sustainable property management, internal training and governance. More than 75% of investors reported no link between ESG objectives and their remuneration, but 27% expect this to change in the coming years.

EVORA Global prides itself on being a sustainability consultancy and software business where our experts help clients by supporting them step by step during their ESG journey.

But what are we actually doing as a business to tackle climate change?

Let’s start from the beginning!

Back in 2011, Chris, Paul and Ed, EVORA Executive Directors and Co-Founders, had a big dream: to accelerate the evolution of real asset sustainability to enhance the wellbeing of the planet and its people. They thought hard about how to start helping businesses become sustainable. What could they do to gain trust? Where should they start from?

This is how our services were born. All of them are designed to bring sustainability to the forefront of real asset investment. Without even mentioning the benefits for our planet and its people!

Sustainability is still a developing journey with new and exciting innovations and opportunities for many people to make an impact; our services and support will certainly continue to evolve with it.

Recently, we have expanded into infrastructure sustainability, in addition to real estate, recognising that infrastructure assets can generate significant environmental and social impacts. Furthermore, this year we have introduced the Green Finance service as we recognised that the green finance agenda has been moved forward at a significant rate by the effects of climate change.

I am very proud to say that EVORA Global has signed up to several initiatives to advance the ESG agenda. They are a symbol of our hard work and our continued commitment towards sustainability.

The Planet Mark Business Certification is a recognised symbol of sustainability progress forcontinuous improvements; it encourages action and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals. This is EVORA’s seventh year of business carbon footprint reporting and certification to Planet Mark. It demonstrates our achievement in reducing our carbon emissions associated with business operations by a minimum of 2.5% every year and our commitment to a continuous improvement in sustainability. Here’s to another seven years of great achievements!

In June 2020, EVORA joined nearly 100 other organisations in signing The World Green Building Council’s Advancing Net-Zero commitment. The commitment challenges businesses, organisations, cities, states and regions to reach net zero carbon in operation for all assets under their direct control by 2030, and to advocate for all buildings to be net zero carbon in operation by 2050. We are extremely proud of this commitment.

In December 2020, EVORA became a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (UNPRI) underlining our commitment to advancing real asset sustainability. The UNPRI works to understand the investment implications of ESG factors and to support its international network of investor signatories in incorporating these factors into their investment and ownership decisions. In line with our company vision, we are committed to the Principles of Responsible Investment, and we actively support and endorse PRI among our clients.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been adopted by the UN General Assembly to guide global action towards a more sustainable future. Given that the real estate industry is responsible for almost half of energy and process-related emissions, we have a pivotal role to play in contributing to the achievement of these goals. We identified a number of SDGs that we can dedicate our expertise, ideas, and creativity towards achieving. We then divided them into two categories: ‘external’ SDGs that are relevant to EVORA’s service lines and ‘internal’ SDGs where EVORA can have the greatest impact through our people. Incorporating these goals into our work will strengthen our commitment and vision to accelerating the evolution and adoption of real estate sustainability to enhance the well-being of the planet and its people.

EVORA has at its heart the health and wellbeing of the team and I take this opportunity to unveil that we will soon move to a new office, how exciting! We have chosen a space that has better lighting and is visually more appealing to work in; the shape of the office space will allow a better desks configuration which will improve the social element. The building has been B EPC rated showing a very good property’s energy efficiency and fresh air is pumped in the office. 20% of the oxygen we breathe in is used by our brain to function and the amount of oxygen we have in our blood controls the release of serotonin which is the key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. Last but not least, the original building hasn’t been demolished but recently refurbished which means that less material has been used and less embodied carbon produced if compared to a new building.

At EVORA it is important for us to advance the ESG narrative around the globe. Because of this, last year we introduced the EVOLVE ESG Training Academy. These free webinars are accessible to professionals working in the real asset sector but also to whoever is curious to know more about sustainability. Yes, I have said FREE! The reason is simple, we want to make real assets more sustainable and to drive awareness of the changes needed to be made today, before it’s too late. The training webinars have reached 28 countries and more than 1300 individuals. Thanks to the support of everyone who has participated, we are motivated to keep the academy running for many years to come.

Nelson Mandela once said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and I wholeheartedly agree. Education is how people gain knowledge, critical thinking and skills to find solutions and create innovations to make this world a better place.

EVORA will continue to tackle climate change as a business, continue to expand our services and evolve our training programme; we will keep creating and promoting healthy and productive workspaces, and improving our business to retain all our ESG credentials.

I am really proud to be part of EVORA and I am delighted to work with like-minded people in such a respectful and transparent environment. There is an incredible bunch of people at EVORA who all really care – for one another, for the work they do, for their clients and for our planet.

[1] https://www.thedrum.com/industryinsights/2021/11/03/leading-sustainability