Green building

Key lessons from multifamily ESG measurements whitepaper by Spaceflow

Logan Nagel content specialist at SpaceflowConversations have become endless on the role of ESG in real estate and the field certainly still has its detractors, writes Logan Nagel of Spaceflow.

Recent research from PwC illustrates the state of affairs clearly: in a survey of over 300 asset managers and other investors, 81% of respondents said they are hesitant to take return losses of over 1% in the name of ESG, but almost 80% said ESG was an important factor in their decision-making.

Here’s another important key takeaway: only approximately a third of investors say the current state of ESG reporting they’re seeing is good enough to allow them to make decisions.

With an aim to serve this need, our new whitepaper focuses solely on ways to measure your apartment portfolio’s ESG efforts. Below, I highlight some of the top insights from the whitepaper that I think you should be aware of.

ESG performance without good measuring is a massive waste

Achieving excellence across the three fronts of ESG is inherently a great thing for people, planet and stakeholders alike. However, if you go to the effort to make ESG improvements like developing a property with highly efficient fixtures or implementing a value mapping exercise, but then don’t properly measure and report your efforts, you’ll be missing out on the huge benefits.

From a branding, fundraising and leasing perspective, your efforts are only as good as your reach. If you don’t guide your ESG efforts with data while making them clear and highly visible, what business benefits will you receive?

Make things easy to understand for renters

When you’re operating a multifamily property, your clients are hundreds or thousands of individual people, each with their own level of interest in sustainability and ESG practices – even if they don’t call it that. Make things easy to understand for them by contextualising numbers, such as energy saved by your dual-pane windows, in terms they can understand. Most of us understand dollars saved more than less transparent figures like percentages or kilowatt hours.

Start with a goal in mind

What are you hoping to achieve with your ESG efforts? If your company’s goal is to simply tread water when it comes to ESG, going all-in on measurement is not likely necessary. Instead, developing an ESG plan that focuses on broad strokes and showcasing efforts and impacts might be just enough. On the other hand, if there are specific ESG outcomes you are looking to achieve, the type of measurement needed might need to be much more specific and detailed.

We can’t suggest exactly what that level of measurement and effort needed should be for your firm. It could be a specific certification, a dashboard to help with management, or simply knowing you’re performing well. Whatever it is, be purposeful about it.

These are just a few of the conclusions from Spaceflow’s newest white paper. You can check out our other ESG insights as well, such as our key takeaway from 15 real estate events in 2022 – that actually most people don’t even know what ESG is!

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