Explore the six steps for creating a robust and successful ESG strategy and the key questions to consider.
Is Your CRE ESG Program Built for Success?
Whether your organization is focused on initiatives that align to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or financial performance and risk management that align to ESG efforts (or both) it is critical to have a holistic program that extends beyond environmental (E of ESG). While environmental spans areas such as energy consumption, waste, and water usage, Social and Governance (S and G of ESG) are increasingly important to a well-rounded plan. The six steps outlined in this report are designed to help CRE departments and organizations with their full ESG efforts.
6 steps to help you define your ESG program:
1. Structure for Success
ESG can start as a top-down team effort that crosses many functional departments or as a bottom-up grassroots effort pushed by a single person. In whatever form the program begins in an organization, for it to sustain, evolve, and thrive over time, the advocates for its success must ensure the six structural and operational elements are addressed.
2. Identifying Goals & Opportunities
Once the most material issues to your organization and its stakeholders are understood, and your current state has been captured, you are able to determine in what areas your goals should focus, and what metrics would constitute achievable targets. The process of determining these targets should include everyone who will be involved in meeting them, to ensure that they are realistic and that there is real commitment to achieving them. If an organization has not completed a materiality assessment CRE departments can still proceed with developing an ESG Program aligned to organizational goals.
3. Prioritizing Initiatives
Once your goals and opportunities have been identified at the corporate or department level, it is important to outline what actions need to be taken to accomplish them - particularly those that will provide the greatest impact and can be successfully implemented. This can be challenging for many organizations.
The best-intentioned plans can fail without proper execution. Success depends on visibility to ongoing performance and selecting the right experience and talent. Many times, this includes internal talent supported by external subject matter experts.
5. Measuring Performance
ESG initiatives require quantifiable data and measurement to substantiate the outcomes of objectives that a company is striving to achieve. This figure is an example of linking and aligning a real estate goal to a company objective. The action or initiative to positively influence the outcome happens between the CRE departmental goal and metric.
Determining the standards on which the company will report and the data it will share for those reports will help map its goals and initiatives. For example, a company may elect to participate in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) or the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). This should drive data collection, in addition to operational improvement requirements.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please connect with our consulting advisory team. We provide everything from ad hoc services to long-term project support with dedicated, on-site resources, depending on the client need.
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Head of Client Experience | Executive Vice President, Occupier Services | Global
Denver - Downtown
I am focused on ensuring Colliers' Occupier Services clients receive best-in-class service delivery reinforced by a mindset of continuous improvement. My responsibilities include: account growth, setting direction on account strategy & innovation initiatives with an emphasis on maximizing service excellence, regular strategic engagement with clients, executive sponsor of our program to develop our account executives and directors and ongoing leadership of Technology and Consulting Services in the Americas.
Global Occupier Services Outsourced Account Leadership Executive Oversight & Governance for Outsourced Account Solutions for Tech Sector Clients Footprint & Real Estate Portfolio Planning
Business Intelligence Platform & KPI Development
M&A Integration Roadmaps & Operational Playbooks
CRE Organizational Effectiveness & Design
Capital Planning & Forecasting
CEO, Blue Skyre IBE, Colliers Strategic Partner
Maureen Ehrenberg, FRICS, CRE, is co-founder and CEO of Blue Skyre IBE, a Colliers Strategic Partner. Her firm specializes in operationalizing ESG for real estate portfolios and digitizing property operations. Ehrenberg is an internationally recognized real estate industry business leader whose expertise lies in business process transformation, strategic positioning, and operations of large, complex portfolios. She led, repositioned and doubled the size of three leading global real estate facility outsourcing businesses. Ehrenberg is an advisor and board member to global organizations, investors, and real estate technology providers. With more than 35 years of experience, she has deep expertise in providing companies with global real estate advice and services. She was named a 2021 Woman of Influence by GlobeSt.com. Before founding Blue Skyre, Ehrenberg held global executive roles with WeWork, JLL, CBRE, and Grubb & Ellis.