- November 1, 2021: Vol. 13, Number 10

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The ESG agenda: The need for unified industry standards in the era of climate change and pandemic

by Benjamin Cole

Institutional real estate investors globally are increasingly tasked with challenges that extend beyond old-school spreadsheet costs, rents and profits, and to such issues as carbon footprints, waste recycling, connections to urban neighbourhoods, and the welfare of building tenants.

In the property world, concerns surrounding environmental, social and governance issues, or ESG, have been mounting for decades, as the topic of global warming has graduated from physical science journals to headlines. With the COVID-19 pandemic, additional concerns have been placed before building owners regarding sanitation, air quality and public safety.

As with some large public corporations, many institutional property owners find they are under pressure to accommodate multiple stakeholders, from investors, to tenants, to local citizens and officials — even edicts from national capitals.

Despite mounting obligations that can be onerous, private companies and property owners e

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