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.
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.
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.
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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