Thursday, 30 January 2014

“The Business Case for Sustainability” Part 2: The Occupier Perspective

Written by Sam Pickering
Head of Energy and Sustainability, CBRE Global Corporate Outsourcing

Previously published in preOccupied Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Qu: What is driving occupier interest in sustainability?

SP: Key drivers for occupiers are numerous, but on the whole we are seeing them consolidated into four key areas, which are:

  1. Cost reduction: This is achieved through energy efficiency and the optimisation of existing assets, and while this is a key driver at the moment we are also seeing significant growth in importance across the following three areas.
  2. Risk: The changing legislative landscape and also the risk of energy supply.
  3. Compliance: Sustainability compliance is becoming more and more onerous.
  4. Brand: Investors and consumers are judging corporates and organisations on their environmental performance, both in terms of the data they disclose and also their activity around tackling their effect on climate change. Interestingly we are beginning to see some occupiers using their sustainability credentials as a way of attracting talent. For today’s Gen Y living and breathing sustainable values is a matter of daily life and part of their social responsibility as a member of green society.

Qu: What trends are emerging?
SP: The requirement for overall property and business strategy are significantly increasing. o date a strategic approach encompassing all aspects has not generally occurred, but this is now being driven by a changing landscape of legislation and security of energy supply.

Qu: What is the next big thing that our industry needs to be aware of?

SP: Changing legislation and the supply of energy pose significant risks. Europe, Middle East and Africa in particular is a patchwork of differing cultures, drivers and natural resources, requiring a strategic approach that to date has been missing. In the past, countries have too often been viewed in isolation. A more strategic and cross-border approach to energy management will deliver significant cost benefits, and help mitigate risks that are common to all countries, such as future changes to EU legislation.

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