September 23rd Weekly Update
As we get closer to the end of the year, we’re taking inventory of where we are and what we’ve accomplished. As many of our clients are real estate investment trusts (REITs), we’d like to paint a picture of how this industry is progressing and share some of the guidance we’ve offered over the years to help manage their GHG footprint. We've packaged our thoughts into a few bite-sized updates below for the week of September 23rd for you to marble over.
If you’re interested in taking your non-financial reporting up a notch, you may want to consider...
Attending one of our upcoming trainings
We just confirmed November 8-9 in New York at Fordham University for the Certified GRI Standards Training course! Participants will learn how to use the GRI Standards to manage the reporting process and gain a strong understanding of how GRI relates to their specific organization. Registration for the 2-day course is open.
We’re going online and are polling advance interest for those who would like to participate in CDP or GRI modules! Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
Getting a pulse on the ever-changing sustainability landscape
As highlighted in a poll conducted by 250 news media outlets, Americans are finally waking up to the climate crisis. A recent write up in the Guardian summarized the poll’s findings that pointed to nearly two-thirds of the public believing that climate change is either a crisis or a serious problem, and a majority wanted immediate action for addressing global heating and its damaging consequences. More than a quarter of Americans questioned in the CBS News poll consider climate change a “crisis”, with a further 36% defining it as a “serious problem”; two in 10 respondents said it was a minor problem, with just 16% considering it not worrisome at all; more than half of those polled said they wanted the climate crisis to be confronted right away, with smaller groups happy to wait a few more years and just 18% rejecting any need to act.
Taking a closer look at the built environment
The NAREIT 2019 Industry ESG Report released in June describes how the REIT industry is tackling various sustainability measures, particularly climate change risk and greenhouse gas emissions. Significant strides have been made in response to the industry’s association with carbon, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gas emissions, which account for nearly a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. In order to better assess industry attributes, third-party aggregators refer to disclosures made through GRI-based reports, CDP and GRESB, which recently announced the culmination of “ESG data from over 1,500 real estate and infrastructure funds, companies and assets with over $4 trillion in asset value.”
While we’re on the topic, we would like to salute many of the REITs we serve. Congratulations Brookfield, Gables, National, USAA, RXR and Taubman for another successful disclosure year!
Following our experts’ step-by-step process for building our your emissions-related disclosures
Start by delineating a process for assessing, monitoring and reporting on your GHG emissions by developing a GHG Inventory Management Plan (GHG IMP) using this simply checklist first established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Identify data owners and ask:
Do property managers or accounting have utility detail?
What form does it come in?
Does this detail capture sub-metering?
Which emitters are relevant?
Might there be scope 1 emitters (lawn maintenance equipment, emergency generator inputs, refrigerants, etc.) not being accounted for?
Set reporting boundaries based on asset characteristics, such as headcount, facility use, square footage and time within the portfolio in order to determine exclusions. This can be done in a separate spreadsheet that supplements the larger GHG IMP.
Start where you can and establish a process for scaling over time.
Document your approach and assumptions within your GHG IMP and/or suto describe your calculation methodology.
Build out a more robust environmental management system (EMS) that aligns to the ISO 14001 standard, like Kilroy did some years back. Developing an EMS supports improved performance, and it can also help you gain additional points within various third-party surveys and empower others in the organization to help amplify environmental responsibility efforts.
Accelerating internal capacity to drive change
GRI and ISOS are teaming up to help lead your cross-functional reporting “kick off” and provide practical feedback for strengthening your reporting process. If you’re interested in learning more about our collaboration, we invite you to reach out to us!
We’re teaming up with Measurabl to lead an ESG Foundations course where participants will get a better understanding of frameworks and standards and how to make the best of peer assessments and Measurabl’s data automation. Participants of this two-day event will walk away with an ESG Roadmap, including a set of templates essential to strengthening sustainability efforts and maximizing third-party scoring potential. Registration will open up in the next few weeks!
The Conception Forum, designed in conjunction with SVT Group, targets businesses that are ready to put their ability to recruit talent and innovate into overdrive. The secret (shhh!!) is embracing the sexiness of purpose. We're recruiting our first cohort of executives and managers ready to "fall in love with your business again" for the beta test version (at a huge discount!). To learn more, please visit The Conception Forum website or take a few minutes to watch our TCF Video.
Contributing to the discussion
Our very own Eric Israel will be speaking to “How Integrating Sustainability into Risk Operations” at the next Skytop Strategies Sustainability & Risk Conference in Arlington, Virginia on October 24th. Let us know if you’d like to be added to the guest list!
ISOS specialist and trainer Gwen White will be sharing insights on ESG data management as she joins other practitioners on a panel at the Sustainable Brands New Metrics Conference in Philadelphia November 18-20.
Applying to help a company from within
Alexandria Real Estate Equities hopes to fill the position of Sustainability Operations Manager in San Diego to develop and implement sustainability and building performance projects and guidelines that meet and exceed the company’s existing building efficiency goals to reduce energy, greenhouse gas, potable water, and waste.
JLL is looking for someone to fill the position of Global Energy and Sustainability Manager to drive the program, set performance measures, and coordinate key stakeholders toward implementation of the corporate strategy.
If there is anything else you feel would help you along in your journey, please don't hesitate to send your thoughts to us!
To a brighter future,
Team ISOS Group
P.S. Want to know what book our team recommends this week? Awaken the Leader in You by Mitesh Khatri