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Software as the foundation for investment grade data (IGD)

ESG is here to stay. Momentum is gaining to improve data quality and consistency. Regulations such as Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) are clearly helping to drive this. The perceived distinction between financial and non-financial data is not helpful one when ESG data, which might conventionally be seen as non-financial, is used all the time to inform investment decisions.

Clearly those who are managing data for ESG strategy implementation and reporting rightly need to focus on aspects, which London Stock Exchange highlighted, such as:

  • Reporting boundaries: ensuring data aligns to the fiscal timeframes and financial structure
  • Comparability and consistency: employing best practice in terms of methodologies
  • Provision of data: qualitative and quantitative for vital context and narrative.
  • External assurance: adding credibility to ESG reporting by following the principles of an independent auditing of the process.
  • Accuracy: establishing robust systems to bolster the collection and quality of ESG data.

Historically there’s been underinvestment in the systems and processes in the real estate sector to address data accuracy and quality. This can be said in relation to the adoption of technology but also from a resources and experience perspective. The requirements and expectations of ESG reporting in real estate has evolved rapidly and perhaps faster than the pace many companies are going at to address these gaps. Key to success in this is engaging those involved in the foundations of ESG data and with the tools like SIERA and SIERA+.

Take for example Net Zero Carbon (NZC) as a relevant ESG theme. Many real estate companies have made public commitments to reaching NZC by 2050. NZC is now firmly on the radar of Asset and Investment managers who are getting their heads around a new lexicon and learning how they begin to develop asset business plans and investment strategies that mitigate these transition risks.

A necessary first step is to get a baseline of performance to understand the current energy and carbon intensity of assets and funds/portfolios and what the impact of current action plans will be on NZC pathways.

To achieve this companies must get the fundamentals right in terms of having visibility of and centralising information to answer some key questions: where are the gaps in data coverage?, which are the best and worst performers in the portfolio?, What’s the current status of asset action plans?, Where in the portfolio should action be prioritised for improvement on each of these?

Example Portfolio dashboard, SIERA+

Undoubtedly technology plays an essential role here as a tool to drive efficiency and consistency in the data collection process and to centralise that data. However, ultimately this comes down to providing an easy and simple means of engagement and collaboration between Asset & Investment management and Property Managers.

We have developed SIERA+ to better equip property managers in engaging with ESG and addressed the priority needs; provide a simple view on performance against targets, ability to manage data quality and keep on top of actions. Notifications prompt when action is required and it’s generally set up to let users focus on the most material issues.

Example Action Plan dashboard, SIERA+

We also recognise that the culture of Property Managers can vary across diverse portfolios and English is not always the first language. Since this is about improving engagement we have made SIERA+ available in 5 languages.

Get in touch to know more.

EVORA delivers £373k savings in first year of M&T module

Our SIERA Monitoring & Targeting (M&T) module had its first birthday earlier this year, so we decided to take the time to reflect back on all it has achieved in its first year.

Since the module’s release in February 2018, EVORA has begun driving energy efficiency at 51 assets across eleven clients via SIERA Energy M&T programmes. In the first twelve months, these programmes saved 4.1 million kilowatt hours of energy, equating to a cost saving of £373,00 and preventing 1,862 tonnes of carbon emissions.

The backstory

As our Managing Director Chris Bennett explains:

“We had sought an Energy Monitoring and Targeting platform to meet our specific requirements, but we struggled to identify a system that provided both the functional capability and practical approach we needed as energy consultants. Having developed our own sustainability management software, SIERA, it seemed a natural progression to develop our own M&T platform. The end product has given us the optimal tool to support in delivering energy efficiency in buildings and has gained widespread approval by the industry. At the same time, we now have an integrated sustainability and energy management platform, where one set of data both helps optimise energy efficiency, whilst feeding into external reporting requirements such as GRESB”.

Following a combined product development effort between our Consultancy and Software Development teams during 2017, EVORA began its first Monitoring & Targeting programmes in February 2018. We have since produced M&T reports in 3 languages, at a portfolio which now comprises 51 buildings; totalling approximately 6.7 million square feet. 11 clients across 6 countries are now optimising their buildings with the support of smart meter data and our expert consultants.

EVORA Global M&T statistics

How does it work?

Developed as a module within our holistic environmental data management software SIERA, M&T integrates directly with providers to pull smart meter data from the source and automatically acquire it on a real-time basis. This allows our expert consultants to feedback quickly on trends and anomalies, and to work with the site team to rectify issues and enhance performance, thereby maximising energy and cost savings.

EVORA Global M&T process
EVORA Monitoring and Targeting process

Successes

We have already seen significant improvements at a number of buildings. By deploying M&T programmes for AEW, EVORA have been able to reduce electricity consumption by 144,419 kWh at one of their largest assets in just 10 months, representing 18% of total electricity consumption and equating to savings of 41TCO2e of carbon emissions and £16k on utility costs.

Success has not only been seen on the site level; via a set of targeted M&T programmes EVORA has helped drive efficiency across whole portfolios. Working with JLL on a series of UK DWS multi-let assets, M&T programme has contributed to an approximate 8% energy saving; totalling a costsaving of £58,000.

Building Manager Emma Swan said, “EVORA’s Monitoring & Targeting Programme is working really well at 60 Queen Victoria Street, and we have already identified several improvements within the current plant setup that will help us further drive down electricity consumption and increase our overall sustainability credentials within the building. The monthly call helps to focus our attention on what changes can be easily made and the SIERA platform allows us to monitor consumption in realtime.”.

Across the clients involved in the Monitoring & Targeting programme over the first year, a total of 4.1 million kWh of energy has been saved, equating to 1,862 tonnes of CO2 and approximately £373k saving of utility costs. We’re extremely proud of the service we have been able to provide and the impact we have been able to have. We will continue to strive to improve and enhance the module to further drive efficiencies.

To find out more about M&T, contact us and one of our expert consultants will be happy to help.


SIERA: Your Perfect Software for GRESB

Transform your GRESB data capture and reporting with SIERA, a powerful sustainability and asset management software tool designed for the real estate industry.

SIERA manages environmental data for billions of pounds worth of real estate and is being rapidly adopted by organisations across the globe.

“We chose SIERA because it has been specifically designed for the commercial real estate investment market. It is practical and intuitive to use and helps simplify the many complexities of sustainability analysis and reporting, especially GRESB.”

Charlie Jacques, Head of Sustainability

Schroder Real Estate

Learn more

SIERA is a practical, innovative and simple environmental management software system, designed to deal with today’s stringent reporting requirements.

SIERA holds all your environmental data in one secure database with powerful validation tools to ensure the accuracy and completeness of your data. Intelligent modelling capability achieves a range of reporting requirements, which are otherwise complex and resource-intensive to produce such as GRESB and CRC.

And while you can be confident you have a unique and robust database to hold and model your data, all reports are fully formatted into Excel, giving you familiarity and ease of use.

Find out how SIERA can transform your environmental data capture and reporting.

Contact Chris Bennett, Founder & Managing Director

cbennett@evoraglobal.com

+44 (0)7810 631 599

+44(0)20 3326 733

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