EVORA achieves Planet Mark certification

We are very proud to announce that EVORA has achieved Planet Mark certification for the 6th year running.

The Planet Mark is an internationally recognised certification based on sustainability standards and its mission is to help us all contribute to a thriving planet as a collective force. The certification represents an organisation’s commitment to sustainability programmes to actively reduce environmental and social harm. 

In a key step forward, this year we have measured our social value contribution. Social value is the net social and environmental benefit generated to society by an organisation, expressed in ‘£’.

The national TOMS (Themes, Outcomes and Measures) framework, developed by Social Value Portal and the National Social Value Taskforce was used to measure the social value generated by EVORA.

In 2019, EVORA generated £454,644 in social value. This includes over £400,000 through actions relating to the people in our organisation and supply chain, as well as money and time donated to charitable organisations, and reducing our carbon footprint through commutes.

In order to measure our social value, EVORA had to submit data and evidence on a number of indicators.  These were:

  • Our People
  • Community and Volunteering
  • Donations
  • Procurement
  • Environmental Impacts

We look forward to completing the assessment again next year and we continue to drive our commitment to generate further social value opportunities.

‘’I’m delighted to see EVORA taking steps to report their social value offering. This submission has helped us identify where the organisation generates the most social value, and highlighted opportunities to create a greater benefit to society.’’

Emily Day, Sustainability Consultant

Addressing the social impacts of climate change: What if we unlocked the social value hidden in the UK’s industrial and logistics assets?

In the discourse on social value and the built environment, we most often hear about infrastructure, multi-residential developments, and office spaces. However, 15% of the UK’s real estate market value is held in logistics and industrial parks [1]. These sites support many business types, with e-commerce businesses now taking up a larger proportion of tenants than in previous years. In fact, the manufacturing, transport and storage industries support just less than 4.6 million jobs in the UK alone [2].

In 2018, the manufacturing, transport and storage industries generated an estimated 30% of the UKs carbon emissions. Carbon emissions are a direct driver of climate change. Climate change is a global process which, carries with it significant social impacts. This short article makes the point that we should be considering the social value potential of all asset classes, especially those with greater environmental impacts.

What are the social impacts of climate change?

Impacts such as rising temperatures and poor air quality have the ability to affect the physical and mental health of the population, as well as their wider quality of life. By 2020, sustainability-conscious landlords are already familiar with monitoring consumption data to reduce their emissions. This often translates to prioritising initiatives focussed on energy usage. Although these activities are vital to reducing the extent of the climate crisis, sustainability programmes should continue to address the existing environmental, but also social impacts of climate change. This can be done by undertaking social initiatives at the asset level.

Taking Action

Individual assets have the scope to improve the lives of their occupants, visitors and surrounding communities. To address the social impacts of climate change, social value initiatives should seek to improve the physical and mental health of these people, as well as their wider quality of life.

There are a number of practical ways to implement social value and social impact improvements at individual assets.

  • Tenant engagement can kickstart a productive, bottom-up approach to establishing specifically what these actions might be. For example, tenants may identify that due to rising temperatures or extreme weather events, their work environment is sub-optimal.
  • Valuable, quick-win opportunities include provision of facilities to increase public transport use or cycling/walking, encouraging use of the stairs for building users and making healthier food options [3].
  • Access to the natural environment both internally and externally can both improve the mental and physical health of tenants, as well as supporting climate adaptation through green infrastructure.
  • Due to the location of buildings within logistics and industrial parks, there are opportunities at the wider estate and public realm level, managed by landlords to provide social benefits to tenants.
  • In the longer term, employment and community initiatives can look to support education, work placement or employment opportunities for members of the community.

It is possible to quantify and report the positive impacts of the above. For example, certification schemes BREEAM and FITWEL have resources to assess and certify health and wellbeing aspects of buildings in multiple asset classes [4]. Whilst BREEAM encompasses most asset classes, FITWEL currently covers office, multi-residential and retail buildings.

Assessing the social value outcomes for occupants and visitors to buildings can also be done through quantitative social value metrics. EVORA has used HACT in past projects to assess outcomes of community engagement programmes.

To let us know your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

[1] Statista. (2020). Commercial property investment value UK 2017 | Statista. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Feb. 2020].

[2] (2020). EMP13: Employment by industry – Office for National Statistics. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Feb. 2020].

[3] (2020). Fitwel. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Feb. 2020].

[4] BREEAM. (2020). BREEAM In-Use – BREEAM. Available at: [Accessed 12 Feb. 2020]

EVORA Global announced as headline partner on Estates Gazette new Sustainability Programme

EVORA is pleased to be working in collaboration with the Estates Gazette and other industry leaders to share knowledge and key learnings about sustainability with the real estate industry.

Find out more here.

  • Read the article “How real estate is mobilised to face a real and present danger” by Chris Bennett here.
  • Listen to the podcast “Hope or fear? How the built environment needs to approach the climate change” featuring Ed Gabbitas here.
  • Listen to the podcast “Property and the climate crisis: how should real estate respond?” featuring Matthew Brundle here.

There has never been a better time to be talking about climate change and the broader sustainability agenda and Estates Gazette are ideally placed to inform the industry as a whole. Working with the Better Buildings Partnership, Hammerson and Drees & Sommer, we aim to share our wide knowledge of the industry and sustainability with the EG audience. 

Real estate is one of the biggest contributors to global warming, representing around 40% of global carbon emissions, which means it is also an industry that has the biggest opportunity to make a difference.

“We are fortunate to work with many clients who already have sustainability high up on their agenda, but we recognise the wider real estate industry still needs guidance and support. With the sustainability agenda ever evolving and climate change and net zero at the forefront of everyone’s mind, we believe it’s the ideal time to share our knowledge and expertise with a wider audience. By partnering with the Estates Gazette provides the perfect platform to share our learnings and  support the industry to rise to the challenge and tackle this issue head on.”

Chris Bennett, MD, EVORA Global

The new programme coincides with the launch of the Climate Change Commitment by the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP), which has been signed by 23 of the UK’s leading commercial property owners.

The Commitment highlights the need for buildings to be net zero carbon by 2050 and commits signatories to publicly publish their own pathways to achieving this by the end of 2020. Read the full BBP press release here.

If you would like more information about how EVORA Global can support your business in achieving its climate goals, please do contact us.

Social Value Part 2: Five Key Challenges for Social Value in Real Estate

In 2015, the United Nations set as part of their Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 11—[to] “Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable”[1].

When talking about resilient cities, most of us probably think of our physical environment, rising sea levels and thermal comfort. However, the built environment can be a great enabler of community growth and strengthening social resources.

UN Sustainable Development Goals logo  United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Goal 11

Source: United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, 2019
[SDG guidelines for use]

Social Value strategies are as important for the built environment as they are for businesses in achieving SDG 11. In this article, we discuss the five key challenges of implementing Social Value in real estate.

  1. Determining a strategy focus – A valid ‘one size fits all’ approach is non-existent in Social Value. Although there is a consensus on the wide range of factors contributing to Social Value, what may be in or out of scope at organisation or asset level should be subject to an intelligent and tailored vetting process. Focus can be determined by aligning the values of your organisation and the socio-economic needs of the area for the strategy in question.
  2. Temporality– The design phase of our built environment projects has so much scope for influencing Social Value outcomes, that this might cause clients focusing on Social Value in constructed assets to feel restricted. Whilst physical factors can be used to influence the way building users work, play and feel, there are many aspects of building management which can influence the same Social Value outcomes. Start by scoping in which outcomes you can and can’t influence, this will also help to focus on what means the most to your building’s users.
  3. Measuring outcomes – Measurement is the most commonly questioned aspect of Social Value. The response can vary largely depending on what your Social Value strategy prioritises. Whilst qualitative approaches to recording Social Value are useful in capturing full social impact, it is important to use Social Return on Investment (SROI) [ED1] to calculate numerical evidence to validate outcomes against[2]. There are a number of SROI calculation tools available to facilitate this. Research carefully which one is right for your organisation.
  4. Social Value Across Borders – Interest in Social Value is quickly becoming a concern of organisations and investors operating both inside and outside of the U.K. It’s encouraging to see businesses taking an interest in creating socio-economic benefit to society. Their interest is a testament that pursuing Social Value brings wider benefits on an organisational level. SROI requires each action to be allocated a value[3]. In the U.K, we benefit from a wealth of existing research and valuation banks. These values have been thoroughly researched, tried and tested based on regional and national socio-economic research. The next challenge is to look closer at making SROI calculation accessible through similar research outside of the U.K.
  5. Balancing commerciality with social impact – The built environment is a largely for-profit industry[4]; therefore the commercial aspect of Social Value will always be important. The key thing for clients to remember when communicating their Social Value to investors will be that the figure next to the £ sign represents value to society. Value to the investor is predominantly delivered through improvements to the assets commercial profile. The rapid development of resources to support Social Value in industries and nations further afield is active proof of its benefits.

EVORA is now supporting our clients to develop and deliver Social Value programmes.  You can read more about this topic in our blog in the article ‘What is Social Value?‘ Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss Social Value in more detail.

[1] United Nations. 2015. Sustainable development goals – United Nations. [online] United Nations Sustainable Development
[2] Watson, K. & Whitley. T, 2016. Applying Social Return on Investment (SROI) to the built environment, Building Research & Information, 45:8
[3] NEF. 2017
[4] Mulgan, G. 2010. Measuring social value. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 8(3), pp.38–43

*The content of this publication has not been approved by the United Nations and does not reflect the views of the United Nations or its officials or Member States.* Visit the website.

Social Value Part 1: What is social value?

Social Value is the quantification of positive public benefits and outcomes. It originates from a collection of principles aiming to improve health, wellbeing, quality of life, and communities[1].

Social Value is considered in a variety of industry sectors, but recent uptake in the built environment has been sharp, and the future is focused on developing implementable social value strategies for commercial real estate.

Key factors for Social Value in the Built Environment

Social Value has been brought to the forefront of planning requirements by The Public Services (Social Value) Act (2012).  The Act gives no official definition or guidance on what process could be followed to implement Social Value. However, research from the U.K. Green Building Council (UKGBC) into Social Value provides comprehensive guidance into the most relevant aspects for development projects.

EVORA Global Social Value blog table Source UKGBC

How do we measure Social Value?

The most asked question in Social Value is ‘how do we measure this?’ Answered simply, Social Value is typically measured by the following 3 methods.
·     Fiscal, including Social Return on Investment (SROI)
·     Numerical quantification e.g. = number of people affected x outcome of action
·     Qualitative (storytelling)[2].

Social Value: Nice to have or must-have?

The rising global population means that the 3.5 billion people currently living in the world’s urban centres is set to increase. By 2030, this number set to rise to 4.9 billion. As the population grows and our cities become ever closer together, the challenges of living and working comfortably alongside each other are increasing. Understandably, government, the public and investors now expect more from those shaping our built environment. Unforgotten though, is that the built environment is a for-profit industry. It is therefore important to many that sustainability actions can be quantified with financial returns[3]. Social Value reporting gives us an updated set of sustainability principles and a way of quantifying them.

EVORA is now supporting our clients to develop and deliver Social Value programmes. You can read more about this topic in our next blog post in the series ‘5 key challenges for Social Value in Real Estate’.

Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss Social Value in more detail.

[1]Baldwin, C. and King, R. 2018. Social Sustainability, Climate Resilience and Community-Based Urban Development. 1st ed. London: Routledge.
[2] Maas, K. and Liket, K. 2011. Social impact measurement: Classification of methods in Environmental management accounting and supply chain management (pp. 171–202). Dordrecht: Springer.
[3]Emerson, J. 2003. The blended value proposition: Integrating social and financial returns. California Management Review, 45(4), pp.35–51. doi:10.2307/41166187