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Expert Insights | Importance of Sustainability Benchmarking

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Our experts can help you to identify meaningful trends and translate insights into actionable steps to improve your building's sustainability.

Most businesses typically have a good sense of their financial performance in relation to their peers, but how does your company compare in terms of sustainability? 

It is more difficult to know how you stack up in terms of sustainability, a broad term, encompassing energy, water, waste, and carbon. Are you accurately capturing how you measure up on these metrics? If the answer is no, read on to learn how benchmarking can improve your building’s sustainability.

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Benchmarking is the foundation of sustainability

Benchmarking is measuring a competing facility’s performance against a standard, the benchmark, to compare it with and improve your own facilities. The ultimate intent is to use this understanding to drive improvement. In the built environment, the focus has traditionally been on energy and water, but recently, benchmarking of carbon emissions, waste, and air quality have become increasingly common. 

Benchmarking is a powerful, yet accessible, tool for driving improvements in performance. Internal benchmarking can identify the leading facilities in your portfolio. Once you have identified the high performers, this data can identify the strategies and technologies supporting efficiency that can be replicated across additional properties. Similarly, benchmarking allows you to identify the under-performers, which can then be prioritised for capital improvements.


Asset owners should prioritise benchmarking in developing sustainability strategies and goals. Initially collecting the data will provide the foundation and metrics required for a successful action plan. Too often, companies set a broad goal (say, Net Zero by 2050) before they have the data to understand their current performance.

Start small

Benchmarking can begin by collecting the monthly energy use for your asset, including as much historic data as possible. Once you collect the data, the trends can be analysed. Has usage crept over the past few months? Are there any spikes or dips? These trends can indicate something is amiss and should be investigated further, providing important feedback for risk management and mitigation. 

"Benchmarking is measuring a competing facility’s performance against a standard, the benchmark, to compare it with and improve your own facilities. The ultimate intent is to use this understanding to drive improvement."


Benchmarking becomes more powerful with a larger dataset. Look to expand the scope of benchmarking across your portfolio, incorporating external data sources such as the Singapore Building and Construction Authority’s annual data on building energy use.

This is a great resource to provide additional insight into your performance. 

Leverage technology 
It is easier than ever to use software to simplify and enhance the benchmarking process. Manually entering data into a spreadsheet is prone to errors and downloading monthly usage from utility providers can be a barrier.
Colliers, partners with Measurabl to provide our clients with a platform to manage their ESG data. Measurabl simplifies and automates data collection and aggregation, automatically downloading your data from the utility provider. This eliminates the potential for data entry errors and frees up resources to focus on implementing ESG improvements. Measurabl automatically benchmarks your portfolio allowing you to compare your assets against others in your company or portfolio, as well as against Measurabl’s local, regional, and global databases.


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Engage with an expert

Benchmarking is simple in concept, but risks data oversimplifying, inappropriate comparisons, or making connections that are not there. Technology can simplify benchmarking, but it is critical to engage a professional to unlock the full potential of the technology.

Colliers’ experts combine your data with a detailed understanding of sustainable asset management to identify and explain the trends and anomalies, being able to determine if a dip in electric usage is due to a lighting upgrade or simply a drop in occupancy. Making appropriate building comparisons, including against assets across regions, are just a few of the many potential variables that need to be considered. Our experts can help you navigate these issues to identify meaningful trends and translate insights into actionable steps.

For recommendations and insights into your ESG strategy, reach out to our experts David Berger, Stephen Bruce or Jonathan Denis-Jacob.

View more of our expert thought leadership here, or our blog articles below.

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Related Experts

David Berger

Sustainability Manager

Advisory & Consulting


David is a Sustainability Manager for the Real Estate Management Services (REMS) team in Singapore where he is focused on implementing ESG initiatives across the built environment. 

David has over a decade of experience improving building performance through innovative energy efficiency and sustainability solutions. He believes that buildings should be efficient, healthy, comfortable, and accessible for all stakeholders. David has expertise in conducting energy audits across building typologies, performing building-related research, working with certification programs, assessing technical solutions, and creating sustainability plans.

While ESG issues may seem intimidating, David believes they represent key opportunities to improving the operations, performance, and health of buildings and organisations.

View expert

Stephen Bruce

Executive Director & Head

Real Estate Management Services


As Head of REMS Singapore my role is to develop and drive the REMS business and team for wider success. My passion in real estate started young with a focus on asset management and later into consultancy. I have over 17 years of experience working for an on behalf of landlords throughout the Asia region. I have worked closely across portfolio landlords and single-strata landlords alike. A core focus has been how to improve the productivity, efficiency and service delivery for assets to ensure we can acheive the best possible outcome.

I have worked across several disciplines across real estate - a focus has been on asset management and property management for and behalf of Landlords. A great passion is how we can alter the industry towards adoption of ESG policies, methods and deliverables in tandem with management operations. With new technology now a major focus in real estate, the industry has become more exciting than ever before.”

I am a passionate believer of real collaboration and encourage cross department learning as much as possible. A win for one team should always create a strong and positive opportunity for another.

As a father of 2 young girls I am constantly on the look-out for new and exciting adventures to expose them to. A keen tennis and hockey player, I can often be found hitting a ball somewhere.

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Jonathan Denis-Jacob

Director & Head

Advisory & Consulting


Jonathan is  Director and Head of Advisory services at  Colliers International in Singapore. He is a registered professional planner, urban economist and real estate professional with over 13 years of industry experience in North America and Asia. He has joined Colliers International in May 2018. 

Jonathan is in the business of providing bespoke strategic advisory through solid economic, financial, and market analysis to help clients achieve remarkable real estate, urban and infrastructure projects. As an international urban development and real estate expert, he supports government agencies, public institutions and investors on real estate strategies, urban planning and infrastructure projects and economic development strategies across Asia and beyond.

Jonathan regularly supports clients with their regional and international real estate investment strategies, working with Colliers International colleagues around the world as part of Asia outbound capital deployment strategies. 

Originally from Montreal, Canada, Jonathan is a Canadian citizen and permanent resident of Singapore. He is professionally fluent in English, French and Spanish.

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