There are many environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues we consider in our approach to managing our business in a responsible fashion. We consider which issues are most important to our key stakeholders, have greater potential impacts on our business, and which ones we have the greatest ability to influence.
Our analysis indicates that the material issues for Bentall Kennedy to focus on are:
- climate change, the associated emissions resulting from energy use, and the risks and adaptation needs related to climate change impacts;
- energy consumption is also a key issue from a cost perspective;
- water, in regards to both cost and availability in some regions;
- transportation, particularly as we see renewed value in dense urban areas;
- materials and waste as the selection of materials can influence indoor air quality and building occupants; our purchasing power presents opportunities; and waste management and recycling is an important topic on which to engage with our tenants;
- green buildings and certifications, which encompass many of the above topics and are of growing importance to tenants in many asset classes;
- well-being, including the well-being of our employees – working on measuring progress, being conscious of changing demographics, and working toward better measurement of diversity as a first step to improving diversity; and considering the well-being of our tenants, suppliers, and contractors; and
- governance and communication, given the still growing importance of transparency regarding all ESG issues. It is important that we regularly communicate with our stakeholders, including both sharing information and listening to their input to ensure a common understanding so we can continue to meet their requirements.
We believe that addressing the issues listed above fit with our commitment to leadership in responsible property investing, and will help us be a better business. In addition, our reputation as a trusted fiduciary is critical to our success. Proactive risk management is part of our responsibility as a fiduciary, and effective management of ESG issues is quite simply the responsible thing to do, and quite simply better business.