ESG Emerges as a Real Estate Value Driver

Strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies have become instrumental in building a resilient real estate industry supply chain. The trend for green- and smart -buildings has put the spotlight on real estate companies to exhibit a pragmatic approach to sustainability. Policymakers are counting on circular economy principles to foster their ESG rankings. Lately, heightened awareness towards renovation and retrofitting has played its part in conserving resources and minimizing emissions. Investors and lenders have shown an increased inclination for ESG reporting, a lot of shifts towards sustainability is likely to be witnessed in the near terms.

Significant progress on climate-based goals will help create long-term value for stakeholders. Commercial real estate organizations have furthered their efforts in ESG management to bolster decarbonization, diversity, equity & inclusion, workplace safety, transparency, ethics & compliance and sound corporate behavior.

Key Companies

• Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

• ATC IP LLC.

• Prologis, Inc.

• SIMON PROPERTY GROUP, L.P.

• Coldwell Banker

• RE/MAX, LLC.

• Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

• CBRE Group, Inc.

• Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.

• Colliers

Environmental Perspective

Key decision makers have upped investments in environmental KPIs to cash in on the climate change opportunities, greenhouse gas emissions metrics and environmental management systems. Bullish investments in clean energy could be a way forward to move towards a low-carbon economy. For instance, Brookfield Renewable has set an audacious goal to develop 21,000 MW of new clean energy capacity by 2030. The company claims its power generation was vital in doing away with 29 million metric tons of carbon dioxide net emissions in 2021. Brookfield also asserts that 100% of its eligible core office properties achieved a sustainability designation (2021 ESG report).

Industry leaders have focused on waste and water reduction to bolster their green building initiatives, including water conservation, energy reduction, recycling, erosion control, environmentally friendly cleaning materials, alternative transportation parking and improved indoor air quality. The company suggests that a global transition to a net-zero economy may warrant around USD 3.5 to 5.0+ trillion investments annually. The Asset management company is gearing up to minimize scope 1 and 2 emissions of in-scope assets by around one million metric tons of CO2e across real estate, private equity, infrastructure, renewable power & transition businesses.

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Social Perspective

Investors and stakeholders are creating an atmosphere to foster an open, positive and inclusive work culture. Diverse representation could be a testament to companies’ adoption of a robust framework to reinforce gender diversity and other workforce demography practices. As of December 2021, Prologis has trained over 13,000 people in logistics with its community workforce initiative since 2018. It has also furthered its efforts on formal mentor programs and inclusion leadership development programs. The U.S.-headquartered company offers real estate training and programs to underpin career development, feedback and performance management.

Incumbents have banked on an environment where everyone is respected and treated fairly. In 2022, Prologis rolled out the global Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) steering committee and included new educational resources, toolkits and programs in the preceding year to underscore employee training on inclusion and diversity. The real estate investment company has left no stone unturned to undergird safety standard compliance. In 2021, the company noted that every maintenance technician in the U.S. completed the OSHA 10 general industry training. Prologis warrants each development project to have a qualified safety inspector with no other (project) responsibilities, and a concerted effort to enhance a safe work environment.

Governance Perspective

Sound governance reflects a company’s policies and practices toward transparency, ethics & compliance, board diversity and ESG reporting standards. At Simon Property Group, the Director of Sustainability oversees climate-related programs, including but not limited to low carbon transition plans, fostering green technology innovation and encouraging the use of renewable energy. Notably, the Audit Committee oversees the annual disclosure of ESG matters, while the Governance and Nominating Committee helps the board oversee and review Simon’s policies pertaining to sustainability.

The company has furthered its efforts to procure sustainable products, making its Suppliers Code of Conduct public in 2021. The governance aspects provide anti-corruption/anti-bribery clauses, anti-money laundering, counter terrorism provisions and restrictions on conflicts of interests and related party transactions. In 2021, it formed a diversity & inclusion (D&I) council to manage Simon’s D&I strategy and offer inputs on D&I efforts. According to its Sustainability Report 2021, Simon has 36% female independent directors, while around 45% of independent directors have joined the board since 2015.

ESG has become paramount for a sustainable and profitable business. Significant capital will be guided toward sustainability as the real estate business shifts to a clean future. Investors and portfolio managers are responding to the ESG reporting trend. Prevailing industry dynamics strengthen Grand View Research’s estimation of the global real estate market at USD 3.69 trillion in 2021, which could witness a robust CAGR of 5.2% from 2022 to 2030.

About Astra — ESG Solutions by Grand View Research

Astra is the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) arm of Grand View Research Inc. — a global market research publishing & management consulting firm.

Astra offers comprehensive ESG thematic assessment & scores across diverse impact & socially responsible investment topics, including both public and private companies along with intuitive dashboards. Our ESG solutions are powered by robust fundamental & alternative information. Astra specializes in consulting services that equip corporates and the investment community with the in-depth ESG research and actionable insight they need to support their bottom lines and their values. We have supported our clients across diverse ESG consulting projects & advisory services, including climate strategies & assessment, ESG benchmarking, stakeholder engagement programs, active ownership, developing ESG investment strategies, ESG data services, build corporate sustainability reports. Astra team includes a pool of industry experts and ESG enthusiasts who possess extensive end-end ESG research and consulting experience at a global level.

For more ESG Thematic reports, please visit Astra ESG Solutions, powered by Grand View Research

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