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More pragmatic approach to ESG needed to help building owners, investors transition from brown to green

Hena Park • 23/10/2023
Cushman & Wakefield has launched a series of how-to guides to provide building owners and occupiers with practical, step-by-step advice on transitioning to greener buildings.

The global real estate services company [NYSE:CWK] launched the initiative to help investors, building owners and occupiers who know that the built environment contributes around 40% of global carbon emissions, but are unsure how to take action to improve their own assets’ carbon footprints.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Head of Sustainability & ESG for Asia Pacific, Matthew Clifford said:
“There are some really challenging conversations that investors are going through to reach their net zero goals. For groups with a 2030 target, they’ve started to realize that it’s honestly not that far away. It’s really only one investment cycle. So, do they need to double or triple their efforts to make up for years of slow progress, or do they sell underperforming assets now, and reconfigure their portfolio with net zero assets as the target deadlines approach?"
“Investors know that know sustainability is important. They also want to maximize their returns, and in some cases these goals are starting to clash and misalign.”

Clifford said that the how-to guides were designed in response to this challenge and aim to provide actionable advice for building owners.

About the guides

The first guide, How to Green the Brown, walks owners of brownfield buildings through the transition to green at a macro level with a heavy focus on right-sizing capital expenditure budgets to align with any broader portfolio or investment strategies.

The second guide, How to Retrofit, uses Energy Use Intensity (EUI) as the basis of measurement for any retrofitting plan – a practical solution to overcome the challenges faced by international property players when using country-specific rating systems.

Subsequent guides will focus on managing climate risk, driving governance, delivering net zero, energy optimisation and green leasing.

Clifford said: “Sustainability can be incredibly complex. This puts people off because they don’t understand the detail and it makes them feel stupid. We want to do the opposite. It’s our mission to make sustainability easy to understand – simple, practical, actionable. We want to give people motivation to get started, not reason to look away. We need to keep thinking ahead to give clients as much commercial advantage as we possibly can. I guess at its simplest, it’s about being returns-driven. It’s about linking sustainability to the value of the asset because, at the end of the day, that’s what real estate investment is all about.”


Cushman & Wakefield Releases First Inclusive Cities Barometer for Asia Pacific

Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK), a leading global real estate services firm, today released The Inclusive Cities Barometer for Asia Pacific that looks at the performance of 35 cities in the region across four inclusivity dimensions – economic, social, spatial and environmental.

Hena Park • 11/06/2024

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