ESG (environmental social governance) is a hot topic amongst businesses, especially as the United Nations (UN) and the U.S. have both announced goals for carbon-neutrality by 2050 (UN carbon neutrality announcement, U.S. Department of Energy net-zero announcement). Is this hot topic simply a passing trend? We say: no! Not only is it here to stay, but corporate social responsibility to the environment is also continuing to grow in terms of investment (and of course, return on investment). Companies face greater pressures from various stakeholders to share climate related information.
What is ESG?
ESG acts as a framework for a company to compare itself to its competitors on its positive impact on the customers and community it serves.
ESG first began on a widespread scale through Kofi Annan, seventh Secretary-General of the United Station’s “Global Compact” initiative. The effort launched in 1999 and has become the world’s largest effort to promote corporate social responsibility. ESG has continued to pick up more adoption in the past few years.ESG is expected to hit every $1 out of $3 by 2025<, which represents over $50 trillion worldwide. If your company isn’t already investing in ESG assets, it’s not too late! This isn’t simply a passing trend, rather a shift in doing business. It can be daunting, but going through it carefully and wisely will bring guaranteed returns.
6 Assessments to Implement ESG in Utility Management:
1. Sight: Get clear visualization and transparency.
To see where your company is now and determine where you are going, you need actual data, not estimates. Make sure you gather and look at exact information for the most helpful outcomes.
2. Taste: Make sure priorities and goals are the right flavor.
What tastes best to your organization? Would less risk be the right fit? Would higher risk fit into your goals of being an industry leader or is that too spicy? Check with what flavors work best for your stakeholders too.
3. Smell: Pass the sniff test of key stakeholders.
Determine the relevance of sustainability to the company’s financial performance, to figure out where would be the best place to take action. What does resilience look like in terms of ESG-finances? For example, investing in renewable energy sources could provide a quicker recovery time in the case of power outages, which are expected to increase.
4. Touch: Set tangible KPIs and actionable insights.
Decide on clear goals to work towards. Vendors and residents can be a source of creative insights, and can be partners in searching for solutions for constant improvement. Vendor’s ESG efforts also play into measurements for your company’s ESG efforts, so making sure they’re aligned is a win-win for everyone.
5. Hear: Always listening, always learning.
Listen to the experts and rely on standardized reporting to measure performance.
Did you know that the act of benchmarking alone can reduce consumption? GRESB provides ESG benchmarking for multifamily internationally, and Energy Star provides benchmarking for commercial buildings in the U.S.
6. Time: what will you prioritize with the time you have?
It takes time to pinpoint and isolate problems. And the sooner that you catch and fix problems, the sooner that your company can hit goals on time and report on them.
Collecting whole building data through IoT (like through Smart Sustainable Solutions) is a great step to take towards understanding direction to take with ESG. Through this method, aggregated information provides data privacy to residents, while portraying a clear picture of your property and portfolio’s performance.
Want to learn more about powering your ESG strategy? Check out 5 Ways ESG is Changing Multifamily Utility Management from Mary Nitschke, Vice President of Sustainability, and Carol Schmitt, Smart Energy Product Manager.
STRATIS®, a RealPage Company, creates smart apartments and intelligent buildings and is the only platform of its kind built for the complexities of multifamily and student housing. STRATIS is installed worldwide across the U.S., in Japan, the UK, EU, and Latin America. STRATIS now serves hospitality, retail, and small to mid-size commercial, as well. STRATIS is an Inc. Magazine “Fastest Growing Company in America” and a Top Ten Entrepreneur Magazine “Best Company in America.” STRATIS was recently acquired by RealPage to enable STRATIS Smart Building, a more connected lifestyle, and unleash hidden yield through new revenue streams.