4 min read
Why Social Wellbeing?
EVORA Global is delighted to launch its newest Service Line this month: Social Wellbeing.
After months of preparation, we are now able to offer Social Wellbeing services to our clients as we continue to move towards delivering truly comprehensive E, S and G support to the industry.
Social disruption from climate change, inequality and public health are some of the defining issues of our times and the real estate industry plays a crucial role in addressing these challenges by harnessing strategies which protect and enhance all property, people and the planet.
There is a rapidly growing demand for safer, healthier, more equitable, more comfortable, more productive spaces. In turn, assets which deliver social value and enhance local community adaptive capacity, inherently create more resilient investments. EVORA now advises on the integration of social issues into investment strategies, as well as the collection and reporting of social metrics aligned with best practice and or regulatory frameworks.
For some, the language might well raise some eyebrows – what is Social Wellbeing after all?
Social Wellbeing draws on the principles of social impact and health and wellbeing: these factors and increasingly better understand within the market and are emerging as a global awareness and industry leadership seek to make the most impact within their funds around the world. Forward-looking real estate investors now incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into business operations. While human health and wellbeing is an implicit component of ESG, it is now becoming an intentional and increasingly institutionalized focus across the entire real estate industry.
Social impact is broadly defined as the effect of projects or programmes of work on local community stakeholders. This means that social impact is strongly linked to issues of economic outcomes: spending with local businesses and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), employing local people and supporting those that have difficulties accessing the labour market. Social impact is interested in seeing the positive benefits from living and working in a community that comes into contact with the client’s assets. We focus on delivering locally appropriate outcomes for our clients and the communities that we work in.
What is Health and Wellbeing?
Physical health can be affected directly through toxic exposures and indirectly by the impact of real estate development on human behaviours, such as physical activity and healthy eating. Mental health is also directly influenced by access to daylight, green space, biophilic design, and indirectly by the impact that urban and building design have on wider social interaction and connectivity. The real asset industry also has far-reaching effects across social health through its hiring practices, approach to procurement, site selection and community engagement.
Market leaders are already prioritising occupant experience in their investments and in some cases, health promotion is being incorporated (particularly post pandemic) as part of wider value drivers. More mainstream market participants are aware of these opportunities and are looking for points of entry and engagement.
The market is changing rapidly. There was a time when an environmental strategy was a “nice to have” but those days are long gone. Market expectations now mean that businesses can no longer present an ESG Strategy without a comprehensive analysis of the communities that they impact and an understanding of how they can do more to maximise the benefits that their assets deliver. Clearly, there is a considerable degree of overlap between the disciplines of social impact and health and wellbeing.
In short, the Social Wellbeing service line offers our clients support in developing and managing assets that serve the people that work, live and interact with them.