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The E in ESG for Office Occupiers: Realising Green Goals for Real Impact

blog OS esg for office occupiers green goals for real impact 1536x1040

Strategies for occupiers to take ownership through measurable actions for achieving net-zero targets.


 

Multinational firms in the Asia Pacific region are often tasked with adhering to head office goals for net-zero targets. Yet the reality of achieving net-zero depends on much more than a top-down approach. Meeting targets by a specific year may be a breeze—or a brewing storm. 

 

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ESG checklist in hand

Gurgaon-based Amit Oberoi, Head of Occupier Strategy in Asia, advises organisations with specific ESG goals to have a checklist when seeking space.

“Occupiers with net-zero targets should consider a number of criteria,” Amit notes. “They should have a list of parameters to select the right properties, and also consider green certified buildings with sustainable design, green-rated equipment and locally sourced materials. Once the space is occupied, they should monitor and audit energy usage while operating the space to maximise efficiency. In addition, they should look at ways to improve bio-diversity in and around their site.”

ESG-minded occupiers need to look beyond the usual leasing terms when considering a site. Amit suggests taking into account the following key considerations: “Can most staff members walk or take public transport to work? Are fit-out materials in sync with local requirements? Are there occupancy sensors to turn off lights when no one is around? These factors make up a solid checklist that occupiers can use towards achieving their targets.”

Related content: The E in ESG for Office Occupiers: What are the key drivers?

Singapore-based Henry ChiaDirector, Enterprise Clients | Asia Pacific, saw many companies reassessing which ESG solutions work and which require exploration during COVID-19. “It is an employee-driven market in Asia-Pacific right now,” Henry ascertains.

“Flexible work arrangements, employee experience and a great workplace culture weigh strongly with talent who can pick and choose which companies to work for. More employees want to see immediate action being taken by companies to achieve those goals right now—not just in anticipation of net-zero 2030 targets. Measurable data resonates with today’s talent, and ESG performance transparency is an important component to hiring and retaining them.”

 

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Real time consumption tracking

Chloe Teo, Head of Enterprise Clients in Singapore, elaborates, “As occupiers get closer to their target year, they need to consider the overall picture. Hybrid work scenarios may reduce carbon footprints in the office but that footprint gets transferred to homes. Colliers partners with Measurabl to track and inform clients how much they are consuming. This leading real estate software solution is used across 90 countries to accurately track real time ESG performance. With Measurabl yielding data that can pinpoint which consumption habits to curb, there could be real savings for clients.”

As the Asia-Pacific region is incredibly diverse, occupiers also should consider what specific countries are realistically able to provide. “The green agenda is being set by various countries: China aims for net-zero by 2060 while the US by 2050,” Amit notes. “In line with each country’s corporate social responsibility, many firms have set more aggressive net-zero goals. This also aligns with the needs of attracting and retaining the best talent.”

 

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Realistic expectations for ESG goals

Furthermore, occupiers are often restricted by what landlords can provide. Some companies are limited by the renewable energy sources available in their territory, such as in Singapore where a single power grid dominates.

In contrast, Japan – an island nation dependent on itself for the resources it consumes, is known for its sustainability practices such as their recycling habits, regardless of at home or in the office.”

Sydney-based Simon Crouch, Occupier Services’ Head of Tenant Advisory in Australia, notes that the current energy mix that powers buildings in Australia is diverse and range from intensive fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. As renewables in the grid increase in percentage, buildings powered by electricity are naturally decarbonising in line with grid power. With Australia’s reporting systems set up to recognise this transition, organisations with net-zero targets can capture cost savings associated with electricity-based consumption.

In the end, all the experts agree that leadership is what drives change. “Good management can shift the company culture through clear goals set, training and support for all staff members, and performance transparency,” states Henry.

   

 

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Related Experts
India

Amit Oberoi

Head of Occupier Strategy | Asia

Occupier Services

Gurgaon

I currently lead Colliers International’s Asia Occupier Consulting platform and Corporate Solution’s India account management hub.

I joined Colliers International India in 2008, as part of Colliers’ India ‘National Executive Team’ and was responsible for the consulting & valuation, research and business intelligence verticals. I have a multifaceted real estate experience of over 17 years that includes successfully concluding land, office and capital market transactions; hospitality operator search; undertaking consulting assignment for clients on their property decisions and authoring research papers. He has extensively worked on projects across South Asia. 

Prior to joining Colliers, I led the Consultancy and Valuation service line for north India at Knight Frank between 2005-08. I was also a research assistant at the School of Urban Planning & Architecture at MIT, USA; and started my career as an architect with Christopher Charles Benninger Architects Pvt. Ltd. in Pune.

I holds dual post-graduate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA. I am a regular guest instructor at the Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad since 2012. I am a member of the RICS South Asia Valuation Professional Group Board, and was part of the 3-member Colliers team that drafted “Guidance Notes for Localization of the RICS Red Book. A regular speaker at media and industry events, my opinions and thought pieces are regularly featured in print and mass media publications.

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Singapore

Henry Chia

Director, Enterprise Clients | Asia Pacific

Occupier Services

Singapore

Joining the Colliers Corporate Solutiuons team as a fresh graduate in 2011, I provide support to the account directors in managing the corporate accounts of multi-national companies. With a strong interest in Business Development, I have also been actively involved in business pitches and developing relationships with propspects.

View expert
Australia

Simon Crouch

Head of Tenant Advisory | Occupier Services

Occupier Services

Sydney

Simon Crouch is the head of of Tenant Advisory in Australia and  has been with Colliers since 1996. Simon started his career in Office Leasing and changed roles to help establish Tenant Advisory Services at Colliers in 2006. When we started out our aim was to provide the highest quality impartial advice to tenants and to deliver bespoke accommodation strategies that would accelerate our clients business and that  is what we have done since. Through employing best in class people with diverse skills our focus is always on holistic customer solutions and service excellence. Evidenced by our average client satisfaction score of 9.5/10 and our expanding services we deliver results that set us apart from our competitors. 

 Simon and his team has delivered some of the most complex assignments in the Australian market. Major recent accomplishments Simon has led include:

Nine Entertainment Co. in their pre-committment of 16,000sqm into North Sydney and subsequent expansion of 6,000sqm following a merger with Fairfax Media, Microsoft's Long Term Strategy and relocation of 10,500sqm in North Sydney, Norton Rose Fulbright's pre-committment of 10,000sqm into 60 Martin Place, Sydney and QBE's 12,000sqm pre-committment in Parramatta and 10,000sqm pre-committmnet in Sydney. 

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