Opposition to Opportunity: Sustainability Goals

Now more than ever we are seeing corporate real estate professionals being brought in to help participate and solve complex problems from talent recruitment and retention to engagement in diversity, equity and inclusion and sustainability goals.

All of these are complex issues, and the challenge of meeting net zero sustainability goals is no exception. It’s an undertaking that requires an interdisciplinary approach that is holistically embedded into an organization. 

Real Estate is Playing an Increasing Role in Sustainability Efforts

In the video below Allie Lopez, Senior Consultant from Incendium explains the importance of being able to embed decision-making around sustainability on the front end as companies are seeing increased external pressures to report and expose their ESG and their climate-related performance. 





Establish the Metrics That Matter 

An example that Allie explains is that simply changing light bulbs to LEDs without an underlying strategy to support it, the leadership buy-in, or the appropriate education for employees in place isn't going to move the needle in a meaningful way.

Instead, leading companies are sharing science-based targets and decarbonizing their portfolios and as a first step. This requires them to go through an exercise of baselining to be able to understand what their emissions portfolio looks like. That's followed by collection, measurement, and ultimately the management of data to understand emission sources and to manage them appropriately.

The Business Risk of Not Taking Action

A lack of action in this space will result in a loss of future revenue, increased exposure to risk, particularly along an organization’s supply chain and an inability to retain top talent. There is a first-mover advantage here. Top talent are actively seeking out companies that take sustainability seriously and make real institutional changes by backing their public-facing statement.

In an ideal world, sustainability has a seat at the table throughout each process along the company value chain. It begins with site selection and acquisition, extending to the type of energy that's purchased to the way that materials are used and disposed of within a space. Embedding sustainability into strategies from the start helps to build efficiencies and ultimately, drive Innovation in the long term.

Key Takeaways:

  • Sustainability requires an interdisciplinary programmatic approach that is holistically embedded in the organization
  • Establish metrics that matter upfront
  • Understand what emissions portfolio looks like, collect and manage data

This impacts every part of the supply chain. Particularly if you are the supply chain for another company.  The choices that you make, including where you store goods, to how you get them there are incredibly important, because you're contributing to your client’s overall net zero goals just as you are to others downstream.

This challenge is coming to all of us, and it will take all parts of the supply chain working together to meet the targets ahead. 

This post is one in a series of blog posts that will dive into each of the megatrends covered at the IAMC Fall Forum by Greg Schementi and Tricia Trester. View the full presentation in the video below and check back as we cover issues in fragile supply chains, labor shortages and construction costs.