ESG – Environmental, Social (and Corporate) Governance: The Only Way to Achieve Future Climate Goals

Stephane Degenhart, Marco Abdallah

Drees & Sommer Asia Pacific brings expert advisors to the region to address the topic of ESG and sustainable construction

As ESG compliance becomes mandatory for all companies engaged in the real estate sector, it is now an economic necessity unless companies want to end up with stranded assets”

— Engineering and Sustainability Manager, Marco Abdallah

SINGAPORE, ASIA PACIFIC, June 1, 2022 / — We are currently witnessing climate change and its drastic impact all over the world, as global warming is causing irreversible changes to our planet. Climate-related disasters claim millions of lives and cause irreparable economic damage in the hundreds of billions. Buildings generate nearly 40% of annual global CO2 emissions. As a corrective measure, governments around the world have stepped in and enforced regulations for new buildings and existing properties to combat climate change and ensure sustainable development for more resilient and climate-friendly cities.

As an international leader in construction and property consultancy in Europe, Drees & Sommer has implemented significant measures to reduce and offset its CO2 emissions in 2020, contributing to its global efforts to emerge as a positive company. for the climate. Sustainable construction and net zero buildings are starting to become a “must-have” rather than a “nice to have” in recent years. The company quickly adopted practices to respond to the new regulations for internal purposes and supported several customers in need of advice on the subject and even created a dedicated department with expert engineering and consulting teams to solve this problem. .

ESG stands for Environmental, Social (and Corporate) Governance and refers to a business practice that, in addition to economic success, also strives for improvements in these three areas. Respect for ESG principles results in the creation sustainability-industrial and financial products oriented. Climate change is expected to lead to a significant increase in stranded assets for carbon-intensive industries and investors. A building runs the risk of becoming a stranded asset if it is not built with green building resilience, which means that existing properties built with non-recyclable materials, are not equipped enough to withstand time and damage. climate change and that properties that do not meet energy efficiency regulations can become obsolete. and decrease significantly in value, becoming a liability.

Head of Engineering and Sustainability at Drees & Sommer, UK, Marco Abdallah explains: “New government regulations, disclosure frameworks, performance reporting and global climate initiatives such as the EU Taxonomy , APAC Goal 13: Climate Action and the Singapore Green Plan 2030 have had a major impact on how we approach new construction and how we value assets and portfolios A common question is, where to start?” He recommends a step-by-step approach that can help clients navigate the new landscape, starting with the status quo and understanding the regulatory and market situation, then collecting data through an inventory before improvement and risk mitigation strategies are developed.

Abdallah describes the step-by-step approach to be implemented: “First of all, understanding the regulations specific to each market is imperative when developing a strategic approach. On this basis, we develop a personalized ESG profile with criteria dealing with reporting frameworks and duties to which the client must adhere.

Analysis and inventory: To understand asset performance, portfolio data must be collected and compiled into an inventory. A major challenge is often the lack of data quality, often associated with substantial portfolios, where a scalable approach is crucial. We master this with our “ESG Toolbox”, which contains a new Sustainable Performance Tool (SuPer) where assets can be registered and assessed instantly with a high degree of automation, a software-based approach that is superior to “Excel solutions” which are still widely used and prone to failure.

Risk improvement and mitigation strategies: Once the ESG data and profiles are completed, a portfolio strategy is developed down to a degree of individual improvement measures within a building. The key to ensuring successful future implementation is to fully understand the impact of the strategies when applied at a later stage, including cost, feasibility and impact; this requires a high degree of engineering experience possessed by the Drees & Sommer ESG team.

Implementation: The success of the overall approach depends on the outcome of the implementation, which is often overlooked or at risk of failure when management strategies are passed down to engineers in the field. This is an important step to be managed by experienced professionals and which can make all the difference. What sets us apart is our ability to walk our customers through the entire process, from management strategies to commissioning a heat pump system – successful projects are our USP!” -he.

Stephan Degenhart, Managing Director of Drees & Sommer APAC, summarizes: “Due to market changes and to ensure a full return to investors when selling properties, technical due diligence and risk analysis have become much more focused. sustainability.With expert consultants, in-house engineering/project management capabilities and a proprietary digital toolkit, we are uniquely positioned to support clients through this transition and deliver a holistic solution while managing all stages of planning and implementation. This combination of services and capabilities makes the transition seamless for customers looking to improve their energy efficiency, analyze their current portfolio, comply with new regulations and obtain certifications green.”

As there is no turning back with climate change, the market will undoubtedly continue on its current trajectory with the need for greener and more resilient buildings and infrastructure. Thus, the need for expert advice and risk management will increase as investors and developers seek to secure their assets and adhere to new climate regulations. “Only by embracing ESG principles and making the necessary changes today can companies and governments meet future climate goals,” concludes Abdallah.

Sophie Silverkrok
Drees & Sommer
+65 8339 0020
[email protected]
Visit us on social media:

The Blue Way, by Drees & Sommer. A film with a difference

Helen D. Jessen