Deep-dive on data: ESG strategies for the built environment

A new report takes an in-depth look at how facilities management can lead the way in achieving ESG targets, exploring the role of data collection in the built environment

With the pandemic altering the way that companies are organised internally, facilities managers have found themselves facing new pressures and challenges, including an expectation that they are driving the ESG (environmental, social and governance) agenda within the organisation.

A new report by smart building technology company Spacewell sets out the role of facilities management in achieving ESG goals.

Within the ESG framework there are a lot of issues that companies must tackle, including pay equity, health and safety, data protection and many more. But companies can see significant changes in the environmental sector of their ESG work and reap significant benefits from their actions.

As the report highlights, according to the U.S Department of Energy, ‘green’ or environmentally friendly properties gain a 28.8 per cent increase in net operating income. Tackling environmental credentials clearly can not only attract talent seeking a climate-responsible employer but also help to cut operational costs.

But how do you get to the point where you are making these kinds of savings?

  1. Regulation and governance

The first step outlined in the report is to understand your obligations. Different countries have different standards of reporting and recommendations – companies must be fully aware of the expectations put upon them by governing bodies. Helpfully, regulation tends to build upon already accepted standards and frameworks, so companies can use these to position themselves and get ahead of the curve.

  1. Choose your own standard

Once having established what regulations a company is bound by, they must choose a framework or a standard to adhere to and which will meet their voluntary and mandatory requirements for ESG. There is a whole range of options available and the report explains what different frameworks and standards offer.

  1. Building a scorecard

Companies can then start building their scorecard, which can help them understand which data they will track, and help them to communicate effectively to potential customers, investors and employees what steps the company is taking on ESG.

The role of data

By collecting data and using workplace analytics, companies can be empowered to make decisions which will impact their sustainability scores and help them achieve positive change on their ESG agendas. This will in turn help meet regulations and reflect positively on the company when communicated with stakeholders.

Collecting data can facilitate discussions around right-sizing your organisation’s real-estate portfolio, improving energy efficiency, tackling air-quality and boosting your ESG score overall.

In a recent webinar run by WORKTECH and Spacewell on 27 April 2023, titled ‘Utilizing Green Data: How Technology Can Support Your ESG Agenda’, this topic was put under the microscope.

Mediated by Echo Callaghan, writer and researcher with WORKTECH Academy, and featuring Joseph Aamidor, Managing Director of Aamidor Consulting, Alexia Johnson, Director of EMEA Facilities Operations at life science company MSD, Erik Ubels, Former Chief Information Officer for Deloitte, now an independent consultant and Billal Vindhani, UK&I Country Manager at Spacewell, this discussion offered expert advice on how to utilise data to achieve ESG goals, with a particular focus on sustainability.

To find out more about how to action change in your company, watch the webinar recording below:


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