The pandemic is set to change the places we work in forever. But as a major contributor to climate change, the real estate sector was already addressing rapid change. Combined with pressure from institutional investors and the rise of ESG, the sector’s impact on the environment, society and local communities has never been under this much scrutiny. Our research highlights just how relevant these issues are as social purpose soars in importance as the world confronts COVID-19.
Our poll showed that 99% of global institutional investors articulate a corporate social purpose while the property sector (79%) and occupiers (76%) are not as advanced.
The pandemic saw corporate social purpose soar in importance overnight. As people around the globe clapped for carers, companies stepped up to the place too, finding reserves of goodwill and energy to raise large sums for charity, support local communities and in many cases waive executive pay.
In our poll, 62% of occupiers said corporate social purpose is more important now, and 51% of property sector respondents agreed. The positive impact a business and its building can have in its local community has clearly been brought into focus as a result of the pandemic.
How important is important?
Investors are once again taking the lead in recognising the importance of sustainability as well as social value across our three polls. The difference between global institutional investors and the real estate sector itself is stark. See the chart below where we asked our respondants, How important is working in environmentally sustainable building for you?
To find out more about how important sustainability is to corporate value and the challenges of a sustainable transition, please download the full report: Real Estate Reset.