reporting on CR
This is our seventh annual corporate responsibility report, and we continue to align with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In the current year, our report is guided by the GRI reporting guidelines with the intention to prepare our 2016 corporate responsibility report in accordance with the GRI G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, Core option.
Scope: The scope of this report is consistent with our previous reports, and there were no significant changes in scope. It addresses the activities of Bentall Kennedy (Canada) LP, Bentall Kennedy (US) LP, and Bentall Kennedy Real Estate Services (US) LP. It reports on our performance, activities and management approach in Canada and the US for the 2015 calendar year. All figures are as at December 31, 2015 unless otherwise stated.[3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8. 3.11]
Reporting level: We are guided by the GRI and this report provides the same level of detail as previous years.
Operational Control: We have applied the operational control approach for the purposes of reporting our GHG emissions which is based on the application of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, Revised Edition (GHG Protocol) and our own internal reporting guidelines and definitions for CR reporting. Refer to our 2015 GHG Reporting Methodology.
For the third time, Bentall Kennedy has engaged KPMG LLP (KPMG) to provide limited assurance over selected performance indicators in our Corporate Responsibility Report, including actual environmental data, for the year ended December 31, 2015. Normalized environmental data, as presented in the CR Summary Report and online Corporate Responsibility Report, has been excluded from KPMG’s assurance scope.
The full scope of KPMG's engagement and their assurance report can be found here.[3.13]
During 2011, we reviewed and updated the materiality matrix following the process established in 2009 and 2010. We solicited feedback on our reporting from global opinion leaders and academics – returning to some of the same people for continuity and engaging several new experts – to build our understanding of the material issues and gather suggestions for improvements. In early 2012, interviews with global opinion leaders and Bentall Kennedy clients were conducted to solicit comments on the 2010 report and gain further insight into material industry issues. We implemented many of the recommendations in the initial launch of this website in 2012, and continue to update it.
In 2016, we intend to carry out a materiality assessment to refine our understanding of the issues that are most important to our stakeholders.
- Report length and summary: The report was perceived to be too long, although most said it covered all of the relevant issues.
Our response: Bentall Kennedy is committed to transparency and comprehensive disclosure of our CR initiatives. To address concerns about length, we created a CR website that we believe will give readers more control over the information they access and a Summary Report that contains highlights of our activities. The Summary Report is available for download from the website.
- Objectives and targets: Reviewers said the Our Future section of the report should be more prominent. They also recommended reporting against our objectives and establishing measurable targets.
Our response: Our Priorities is now a prominent section of our website in which we have reported our progress against objectives established in our 2011 report. We have also established new objectives for the future. We are implementing measurable corporate targets wherever we have control over performance. Although there are constraints on disclosure inherent in being a private company and a manager of third-party assets, we endeavour to engage with our clients and tenants to continuously improve our environmental, social and governance performance.
- UN PRI principles: Bentall Kennedy was commended for adopting the UN PRI, but it was unclear how they are being used and the impact they have on the progress and reporting of sustainability initiatives.
Our response: The UN PRI guided the development of Bentall Kennedy’s sustainability policy, strategy and other initiatives. The link between the Principles and the actions we take is that the Principles guide our strategy and approaches.
- Third party assurance: Several reviewers suggested that obtaining third party assurance would improve the credibility and quality of the report.
Our response: We have established third party assurance as a goal within Our Priorities to be achieved within the next three to five years.
- Performance data: Reviewers recommended providing more context for the data provided, including an explanation of the method of calculation, assumptions, limitations and benchmarking.
Our response: We have provided an explanation of every table and graph along with notes to clarify the collection and context of the data. Where available, we have also included relevant industry benchmarks.
- Risks / materiality analysis: Reviewers suggested including more discussion of risks and risk management of sustainability issues such as climate change risk, energy price volatility.
Response: We have expanded our discussion of risk management under Our Approach. We are developing a more thorough discussion of risks across all aspects of CR within Bentall Kennedy.
- Transportation / urban planning: Reviewers recommended including more information on transportation demand management and urban planning.
Response: Please see our discussion of Environmental Issues.
- Water: The reviewers recognized that issues related to water are region and asset class dependent, but it is a significant issue that should be included in the report.
Our response: Please see our discussion of Water. We will expand upon our water-related initiatives and reporting in the future.
We will continue to engage with our stakeholders and industry experts to obtain feedback on our reporting efforts and our sustainability and responsibility initiatives. The feedback we gather is helpful to continually improve our sustainability performance. [3.5, 4.17]