• sustainability initiatives
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  • Intelligent Building Management Systems
  • Climate Change
  • Commercial Real Estate

Navigating the Sustainability Journey

Casey Talon
Nov 07, 2019

Connected City 8

Corporate leaders face a host of pressures to implement wide-reaching sustainability initiatives. Employees, students, and customers are more discerning of companies’ dedication to sustainability than ever, and they use it as a factor when making spending decisions. Investors are becoming more conscious of sustainability, divesting from carbon emissions-intensive companies and investing in organizations with lower carbon footprints. In addition, an ever-expanding patchwork of regulations at the national, state, and local levels impose new demands on companies. More than ever, businesses have a significant strategic interest in reorienting their business strategy and operations to become more environmentally sustainable, walking the fine line between making investments in sustainability and delivering strong bottom line results.

Challenges of Creating Sustainability Strategy and Steps to Success

The pressure to define sustainability and create a strategy to infuse it into the day-to-day can be difficult. A host of challenges to embedding sustainability in business exist, including the following:

  • Keeping pace with rapidly changing regulations and local policies
  • Prioritizing sustainability against competing corporate initiatives
  • Understanding the materiality of direct and indirect climate risks
  • Financing investments to hedge both financial and reputational risks

It is important to recognize that, regardless of business focus, the risks of climate change and shifting stakeholder expectations demand investment in sustainability. Businesses must navigate a journey from business-as-usual to leadership in sustainability that follows four key steps:

  1. Diagnose: Understand where your business operates relative to your peers and learn about best practices in accounting for key sustainability metrics such as greenhouse gas emissions, water, waste, and operational efficiencies.
  2. Act: Define goals, set targets, and take measures to abate emissions, waste, and inefficiencies.
  3. Engage: Connect with the wide array of stakeholders that are most important for your business such as employees, shareholders, advocates, and customers.
  4. Showcase: Develop and disseminate information about your journey, commitments, investments, and ongoing progress.
An Ongoing Journey

The sustainability journey is continuous. Businesses take a critical first step when they assess their baseline performance—that diagnose step is critical, but it is not a one-time task. Year over year, market leaders employ continuous improvement plans to ensure the data is comprehensive and accurate, the investments pay off, and there is progress toward real and effective goals.

Join us on November 12 for a virtual roundtable discussion that will offer real-world perspectives and insights from industry leaders in the commercial real estate and retail sectors. I will share findings from recent Navigant Research, a Guidehouse company, sustainability reports and moderate a discussion with Maya Henderson, director of sustainability at Kilroy, and Ryan Knudson, assistant vice president of operations and energy management at Macerich.

Register today!