Why Stakeholder Engagement in Real Estate is the Key Behind ESG

Why Stakeholder Engagement in Real Estate is the Key Behind ESG

ESG encompasses a very broad set of factors in commercial real estate. Generally speaking, these include sustainability (‘Environment’), diversity and community impact (‘Social’) and interactions with shareholders, government, competitors and other groups (‘Governance’). The common thread that strings these aspects together is the involvement of stakeholders to achieve positive outcomes in all three of these core areas.

Engagement of stakeholders means proactive dialogue and interaction with all individuals or groups that affect, or are affected by, your buildings and your business. The breadth of the topic can make it difficult to pin down concrete actions, let alone their benefits. In this article, I outline how engaging stakeholders is relevant for all three of these categories – the E, the S and the G.

1) Engaging for Environment

Achieving net-zero carbon across your portfolio is impossible without involvement of all stakeholders. This is especially true of tenants, employees and visitors who use the building daily – consuming energy, water and materials. How can landlords engage these users to behave more sustainably?

According to GRESB, engagement can be represented by activities such as informing, involving, collaborating and leading. Structuring commitments in green leases, sending out sustainability-related surveys or educating users about their consumption with an energy monitoring platform are just a few ways of empowering stakeholders to contribute to a greener building.

2) Engaging for Social

A critical goal for owners is developing a sense of community and inclusiveness; creating spaces that all want to be a part of. Setting up community events to discuss topics like sustainability, health and diversity are excellent ways of promoting your brand’s forward-thinking approach while creating a more welcoming environment for building users of all backgrounds. Moreover, active dialogue through feedback with such groups makes them feel like you truly care and want to deliver the ultimate spatial experience for them.

3) Engaging for Governance

Engagement is a powerful tool to boost corporate governance. Let’s apply Sherry Arnstein’s 1969 Ladder of Citizen Participation to the realm of commercial real estate. Within this framework, two-way communication and information flows, participation in decision-making through committees and events, as well as consultations and debates with representative groups are great ways to boost the democratic scope of your governance strategy through greater transparency, accountability and trust with your stakeholders.

Don’t underestimate the power of stakeholder engagement! Learn about how hello energy can boost your ESG agenda via stakeholder engagement at

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