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Report summarises Global Reporting Initiative’s new Construction and Real Estate Sector Supplement, provides updates on energy and sustainability legislative actions worldwide
HONG KONG AND MACAU, 25 October 2011 - The emergence of international guidelines on sustainability reporting for real estate companies is one of several key global trends in corporate sustainability and responsibility reporting, executives of Jones Lang LaSalle reveal in Global Sustainability Perspective, the firm’s quarterly online research report on legislative and market forces pertaining to energy, sustainability and climate change issues around the world.
“Stock analysts and investors are looking at corporate data on sustainability more and more closely as the correlation between environmental performance and financial performance becomes increasingly clear,” said Dan Probst, Chairman of Energy and Sustainability Services at Jones Lang LaSalle. “Organizations like the Global Reporting Initiative and Carbon Disclosure Project have facilitated improvement in the quality and consistency of corporate sustainability reporting. The combination of better data and increased investor attention is driving several key trends in sustainability and responsibility reporting.”
Peter Hilderson, Head of Energy and Sustainability Service at Jones Lang LaSalle Asia Pacific said “Whether considering decisions in a slowing Western market or dynamic market in Asia Pacific, corporate real estate decision makers continue to increasingly prioritize sustainability. Though sustainability's role in a real estate decision may vary greatly from Tokyo to Bangalore, an ever increasing number of managers are depending on sustainability practices to deliver results. In Australia, integrated reporting is springing off the Nabers mandate, while in China, new feed-in tariffs are now improving the viability of solar solutions. Across Asia, portfolio managers are looking at integrating energy audits to reduce cost and we believe this is a trend which will continue.”
Trends identified in the Fall 2011 Global Sustainability Perspective include:
A new focus on reporting on real estate sector, enabled by Global Reporting Initiative’s Construction and Real Estate Sector Supplement (GRI CRESS), which in addition to energy, water and carbon data, recommends reporting on building and materials certification; remediation of contaminated land; labour health and safety issues; and subcontractor labour supply chain issues.
Use of Web 2.0 applications featuring online applications that facilitate information sharing and user-centred design to engage with stakeholders, such as a feature on one company’s sustainability and responsibility website that allows visitors to comment on the firm’s environmental strategy and performance.
Greater transparency to enhance trust relationships at a time of growing public distrust of governments and businesses, magnified by increasing use of social media channels that make brand value difficult to control.
More integrated reports showing the relationships between financial, social and environmental performance—particularly in South Africa, where integrated reports are required for Johannesburg Stock Exchange companies; and in Brazil, where the number Global Reporting Initiative compliant reports jumped 68 percent between 2009 and 2010, compared to 22 percent globally.
The new Global Sustainability Perspective also discusses Jones Lang LaSalle’s own Corporate Social Responsibility report, issued in September. CEO and President Colin Dyer comments in the introduction of the report: “As part of our commitment to create real value in a changing world, we are determined to hold ourselves accountable for the social, environmental and economic impacts of our operations and are committed to developing policies, business practices and services that will drive continuing positive change in our industry.”
“The connection between sustainability reporting trends and our Energy and Sustainability Services business is very strong,” said Michael Jordan, Senior Vice President of Sustainability Strategy at Jones Lang LaSalle. “Sustainability initiatives naturally focus on a company’s owned and leased real estate, and we have a leading practice in areas like energy management, building certification and retrofits. Now, as many companies recognize the need to integrate those property strategies into a larger strategic vision that engages employees, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders, they are turning to us for advice and implementation on activities beyond real estate.”
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