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Sustainability Matters in Commercial Real Estate

Cushman & Wakefield is committed to a sustainable future, achieving a balance between environmental, technological, economic and social objectives. In an effort to deepen our understanding, Cushman & Wakefield also engages with environmental advocates. Listening to the voices representing environmental issues permits us to form a more robust and meaningful environmental strategy. 

Here at Cushman & Wakefield we believe that property should be sustainable. 

Read: 20 things you need to know about sustainability and property

What is sustainability? 

Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability to future generations to meet their own needs.  

Sustainability is a complicated topic. And while most of us are generally familiar with the term, the details may be less transparent. 

Read: We have created a list of terms and definitions we think are of particular importance when it comes to sustainability and commercial real estate

What are the three pillars of sustainability? 

ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance standards, Material topics in each of the ESG pillars and operational/ business approach to ESG varies by business, company, stakeholder group compositions and values. 

  1. Environmental factors include the contribution a company or government makes to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions, along with waste management and energy efficiency. Given renewed efforts to combat global warming, cutting emissions and decarbonizing is become more important.   

  2. Social includes human rights, labor standards in the supply chain, any exposure to illegal child labor, and more routine issues such as adherence to workplace health and safety. A social score also rises if a company is well integrated with its local community and therefore has a ‘social license’ to operate with consent.   

  3. Governance of a corporation refers to the rules, processes, laws, guidelines and guiderails that inform a company’s operations and controls. Corporate governance takes into account the decision-making authorities, rights and impacts on various stakeholders including a board of directors, shareholders, management and employees. 

How do we approach sustainability?  

With 53,000 people around the world, Cushman & Wakefield makes a significant impact on employees, clients, shareholders, communities and the environment. Corporate social responsibility is embedded in our firm’s practices and strategic vision for the future. 

Read: Our Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives
 

What should sustainable cities look like? 

To support our future, the urban ecosystem needs to be at the heart of urban and development planning. While some might argue that’s a constraint on development, it’s actually an opportunity. 

Sustainable cities are a critical feature of a successful economic and social approach to how and where we live our lives and play a role in the health of our environment. 

Read: Sustainable cities: why going green is the way forward.

Zero carbon 

Carbon is a term that’s been coming up more frequently around the board room—and COVID-19 has only amplified the conversation. As businesses start to look past COVID-19, they are viewing carbon reduction as a critical step to mitigating climate change, recruiting and retaining employees, and better serving their customers, shareholders and stakeholders.  

Read: Find out what it means to become ‘carbon neutral’ or achieving ‘net zero'

Climate change 

A scientifically proven, long term shift we are seeing in temperature averages and extremes. Compared to a historical average, since the start of the industrial revolution, scientists recognize we are seeing much higher temperature levels. Rising temperatures lead to an increase in volatile weather conditions—flood, drought, shrinking ice caps, rising sea levels. 

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been vast-reaching, affecting billions of individuals’ daily lives and interactions with our communities. One major area being heavily impacted: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With most of the world performing some form of social distancing, industrial productivity and commuting has declined immensely, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions, a leading contributor to global climate change. 

Read: The impact of COVID on climate change.

How can you be more sustainable as a business? 

Sustainability is not just the right thing to do for the environment, your employees, and the future of our planet—it’s good business. By measuring the sustainability and societal impact through environmental, social, and governance criteria, our team of sustainability experts can help you better determine the future financial performance of your company. 

Read: Learn how we can serve your sustainability needs

 

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Resources
Learn more about what we can do for your business and our ongoing commitment to contributing to a better world through sustainable, ethical and responsible practices.
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