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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

 

Sustainable Insights

Data center
Research • Sustainability

WEBINAR SERIES | THE SUSTAINABILITY IMPERATIVE FOR DATA CENTRES

With the extremely high consumption of power by data centres and the significant carbon footprint the sector generates, there is a need to strengthen sector-wide standards and commitments for the sustainable data centre operations.
Kevin Imboden • 29/09/2021
Climate risk card
Insights • Sustainability

Climate risk

Climate risk is now a reality which will impact current and future value of property. When we talk about climate risk, we invariably mean one of two things – the transitional risk of moving towards a low carbon economy or the physical risks associated with climate change.
Elsbeth Quispel • 29/09/2021
building at a time (image)
Article • Sustainability

Battling Climate Change One Building at a Time

The phrase “build back better” was used to describe the efforts by governments around world to rebuild and position the economy for recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe this should also be the approach towards achieving a more sustainable environment and addressing climate change.

Natalie Craig • 13/09/2021
ESG-Card
Insights • Sustainability

Monitoring and Measuring ESG in an Era of Remote Working

With the adoption of remote and hybrid working hastened by the global pandemic, we look at where emissions are coming from, quantify them and examine the implications for ESG reporting in 2021 and beyond.
Rebecca Jinks • 06/09/2021
Green-is-Good-Web-Card
Insights • Office

Green is Good Sustainable Office Outperforms in Class A Urban Markets

As investor interest in ESG strategy rises, LEED-certified office provides a key indicator on comparative performance By 2023, 80% of investors intend to incorporate ESG into their strategy.
Jacob Albers • 31/08/2021
Global Sustainable Events Charter (image)
Insights • Sustainability

Global Sustainable Events Charter

We believe that demonstrating our sustainability commitments in the way we approach events is a natural part of our ESG journey.
Rose Ellis • 21/07/2021
Glass office facade with tree Australia
Video • Sustainability

Webinar: Carbon Neutrality - Shifting to Neutral to Drive Real Estate Sustainability

Learn about a whole lifecycle carbon reduction plan – a road map for real estate investors/developers/landlords in China, and other considerations and what's in it for real estate investors, developers and landlords.
James Shepherd • 23/06/2021
Sustainability 101 (image)
Research • Sustainability

Sustainability 101: Your Guide to Critical Definitions

We have created a list of terms and definitions we think are of particular importance when it comes to sustainability and commercial real estate.
Andrew Phipps • 07/06/2021
Role of the City CArd (image)
Insights • Sustainability

The Role of Cities in Defining Our Environmental Future

To support that 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.
Andrew Phipps • 03/06/2021
Edge Carbon (image)
Insights • Sustainability

All about carbon

Companies often talk about becoming ‘carbon neutral’ or achieving ‘net zero,’ but what does that actually mean?
Melissa Gutierrez-Sullivan • 26/05/2021
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.
Sustainability Services Corporate Social Responsibility
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