Property managers need an integrated approach to ESG

Real estate has a huge impact on the environment. The built environment contributes around 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint.

Many real estate managers are well-aware of this and have taken steps to address their impact. At Clearbell, we know we can always make more progress and are committed to ensuring we are cognisant of the impact we are making.

Aside from climate change, which has been well covered, there are a range of ways that buildings, old and new, affect the world. These include bringing change to the lives of those in the local community and the tenants of assets. This can be more difficult to address – and even harder to measure.

GRESB, the ESG benchmark for real assets, goes some way to solving this problem, by providing data on the impact that managers and real estate assets have. The benchmark this year celebrates its 10th anniversary of helping the property market assess its ESG performance. We are really pleased that for the third year running, we made progress across our GRESB submitted funds and look forward to making further progress going forward.

Yet we need to consider our impact on the built world around us in a more integrated way. This is an iterative process.

Take, for example, energy consumption. By switching to renewable energy providers and installing energy-saving lightbulbs, we are on the right path. The impact on tenants is clear, especially if tenants are paying for utilities themselves. But that is just the first step on a long road ahead of us. And as new technologies and advances come out, there will be plenty more for us to do.

We are still working hard to improve our ESG commitments but feel confident there is momentum to help us get there.

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