Monthly Archives: February 2018

Decarbonizing real estate: Why businesses are on-board

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In the business world, a growing number of companies are recognizing climate change as a present or future risk. According to a report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, 90 percent of the multi-national, blue chip companies on the Standard and Poor’s Global 100 Index identify climate change as a major risk to business. Their major concerns include damage to assets and facilities, failure of critical infrastructure, higher costs and disruption to supply and distribution chains. Resiliency is becoming a cornerstone of future-proofing businesses, as well as essential to remaining competitive.

The concept of resilience can be viewed through two lenses: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation aims to curtail climate change by reducing or offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. Adaptation purposes to limit one’s own vulnerability to the impacts of climate change without necessarily addressing the underlying causes. The paradox with real estate is that climate change affects the resiliency of buildings just as buildings largely contribute to the problem of climate change. The building sector alone accounts for nearly 40 percent of carbon emissions in the U.S. per year.

Even as industry traditionally tends to favor less rather than more regulation, nevertheless some of the world’s largest corporations are pushing for more aggressive climate change mitigation through government policies and market mechanisms. In a “Business Manifesto” presented at Davos in 2015, for example, executives from Unilever, KPMG, Philips and others called for world leaders to design a new architecture for sustainable development based on transparency, accountability and market forces.… Read More

Voluntary carbon reporting: Why bother?

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There are five main platforms to report carbon. Which one is right for your organization?

The geopolitical and economic fall-out of climate change is prompting the world’s largest investors to decarbonize their portfolios. To do this, they need to know how the companies they invest in are addressing climate change risks.

Reporting quantitative data on sustainability and carbon emissions can be challenging for a complex organization. The fact that many companies do it voluntarily is because this data is becoming increasingly more important to remain attractive to investors who must protect their portfolios against environmental risks.

The trend of voluntary disclosure has resulted in a proliferation of carbon reporting platforms, including the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the Global Reporting Index, GRESB, GreenPrint and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

These carbon reporting platforms vary in focus, so it’s important to choose the right one for your organization. Some address a broad range of corporate social responsibility issues and business operations; others focus more narrowly on just carbon emissions or the environment; while yet others focus on specific sectors, such as the buildings sector.… Read More