Welcome to ‘The ESG Crunch’ with Tom Allport, a Q&A focused on Sustainability & ESG in the Built Environment.
This Q&A series is an opportunity for our Lead ESG & Sustainability Consultant, Tom Allport to discuss all things Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) with some of the leading players and decision-makers in the space. Each week we will ask burning questions centered around the critical role of ESG in shaping business strategies, fostering sustainable innovation, and driving societal impact. This series will provide a platform to share insight into how these leaders are integrating ESG principles into their organisations, navigating challenges, and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to join the ESG & Sustainability industry.
Measurabl is the world’s most widely adopted ESG (environmental, social, governance) data management solution for real estate. Customers use Measurabl to measure, manage, and report ESG data on more than 17 billion square feet of real estate across more than 90 countries. Measurabl helps the industry’s most innovative companies optimize their ESG performance, assess exposure to physical climate risk, and act on decarbonization and sustainable finance opportunities.
How did you find yourself working in the ESG & Sustainability space?
After a decade working in finance and advising high growth startups I saw a huge opportunity to re-skill and focus on sustainability integration in organisations of all sizes. I view the decarbonisation of the economy as the industrial revolution of our time and the biggest investment opportunity of the next 30 years.
What does your role at Measurabl entail?
I head up Advisory Services in EMEA which involves helping customers with their ESG Strategies, Reporting and disclosure and leveraging their sustainability data to create action plans.
Could you share some insights into the ESG & Sustainability priorities at Measurabl?
Our priority has always been to do what we preach, which is to leverage sustainability data to lower the environmental impact of our business. Following Covid Measurabl took the opportunity to reorganise itself and become a remote-first company. We are a global business with over 200 employees spread across North America, UK, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
With ESG being so broad across industry and so nuanced within Real Estate, what specific focus do you and your team have?
How to leverage the data within the Measurabl platform is one of the key focus points of the work we do in Advisory Services. A large part of what we do is help our customers on the ESG reporting side and regulatory alignment. We emphasise a strategic approach with regards to mandatory and voluntary reporting rather than a tick box exercise. We aim for our clients to go beyond ESG compliance. One of the other key areas we address is that of decarbonisation strategies and the business value behind it.
What unique challenges and opportunities do you see with ESG in the UK/EU compared to other global regions?
The main challenge I see is the standardisation of ESG data reporting. Due to the growing number of regulation at the European level like CSRD and SFDR that will be affecting more than just publicly listed companies, private companies will now be facing regulatory reporting requirements. Real Estate ESG has particular challenges due to the lack of comparable data across countries making it difficult for Funds with assets in more than one country to understand the performance of their assets vs their peers and in line with the regulatory technical screening criteria.
Globally there is a skills talent gap in the ESG & Sustainability Real Estate sector, what skills are particularly important when developing and implementing the Measurabl ESG Strategy?
A passion for sustainability and experience in multi-stakeholder analysis. Real estate is an industry with lots of stakeholders, meaning that if you want to create strategies that have impact you need to look at it from an ecosystem perspective and understand the interoperability needed between suppliers, tenants, property managers, investors and owners.
How have your client’s/investors ESG & Sustainability needs and priorities changed in the last 12-18 months?
The real estate transaction market has slowed since the raising of interest rates last year and this has affected ESG projects in different ways. Some of our clients have doubled down on ESG integration by way of decarbonisation projects to increase the value of their assets, others have looked at ways to optimise their ESG procurement and digitalise their sustainability data management. Real Estate owners and investors want to simplify the data piece, because they have realised that ESG reporting can be challenging when their data house isn’t in order.
What challenges and opportunities do Measurabl have with ESG & Sustainability?
I choose to look at the world with a half glass full mentality and therefore I see nothing but opportunity as the ESG and sustainability industry evolves, the onus on disclosure and reporting as well as regulation will only increase therefore real estate companies will need to have a better grasp on their sustainability data and Measurabl will be right there alongside working with them.
How have you found the market in 2023?
2023 has been a game of two halves as the market adapts to this new interest rate environment but real estate companies are starting to see the business value in ESG integration across operation of their assets.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring ESG & Sustainability talent in today’s market?
Become a sponge of information and do as many courses as you can, read a ton of books and leverage your background to guide your choices in the space.
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