News 20th September 2021 Better Buildings Partnership

Real estate will only meet its ESG goals if it educates and upskills, Vicky Cotton, ESG Director, writes in EG.

Earlier this year, EG editor Samantha McClary noted an uplifting trend: the industry’s renewed commitment to net-zero goals despite pandemic challenges. To achieve these goals, the industry needs to invest in the necessary skills.

Our ESG objectives are unequivocal, and so too is our drive to work collaboratively across the industry. However, with these objectives in mind, our task is to now upskill to meet ESG goals and align everyone across the industry, via more comprehensive training that communicates core sustainability concepts and delivers a more consistent approach across the sector.

In order to deliver the breadth of specialist expertise now required to achieve Net Zero and wider ESG goals, firms need to augment their ESG capabilities by developing diverse teams that reflect the breadth of issues that will face them.

Foster greater collaboration

When approaching our objectives, a consistent approach to ESG performance and KPIs is required across our industry. To achieve this, we must cultivate engagement between all stakeholders, through training that reflects the continually evolving ESG terminology.

The Better Buildings Partnership’s Responsible Property Management Toolkit offers crucial guidance and training. It’s an excellent example of necessary engagement in sustainability. Developed by sustainability professionals, it bridges the ESG knowledge gap, enabling collaboration among asset, property, and facilities managers. The goal is to steer the real estate sector towards more sustainable management practices.

It provides best practice guidance on 13 fundamental ESG topics, from incorporating sustainability into the procurement of property management services, through energy water and waste, to social value, and health and wellbeing.

Within this toolkit, the partnership has provided a resource that is available for everyone, from centre managers, regional facilities managers, through to building consultants and property managers, so we are all aligned and adopting a consistent approach.

This will allow us to identify opportunities and engage with our clients to keep driving performance. Aspects such as an aligned industry approach to supply chain management or energy and waste procurement, for example, will not only streamline operations for property management firms, but also for the suppliers and contractors that we as an industry are all dealing with.

Property management practices

The toolkit will elevate property management teams to strive for best-in-class ESG practices, from which more detailed strategies can then be devised.

Despite the remaining challenges of the pandemic, a net-zero carbon future where the built environment contributes towards the social value of the community must be the goal we are all working towards. Therefore, the property industry must commit and invest with renewed vigour. They need to collaborate, educate and upskill to meet ESG goals. This is if it is to achieve this shared objective.

By Vicky Cotton, ESG director, Workman

This article first appeared in EG at: Real estate will only meet its ESG goals if it educates and upskills | EG News (

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