Unlocking ESG value through technology.


Ryan Elliott, Associate Director

An investment in opportunities and values.

Additional Authors. Roy Bidder, Senior Associate and Andrew Kuo, Data Science Lead.

Successful technology implementations invariably revolve around addressing three core factors: cost reduction, value creation, and risk mitigation. Nowhere are these factors more pertinent than in the realm of ESG reporting within the property and construction sectors. As clients grapple with the impact of an evolving regulatory landscape and heightened stakeholder expectations, whilst also striving to identify investments that align with their corporate and industry goals, the convergence of these factors becomes even more significant. It’s becoming increasingly evident that the data required to navigate these complexities is often fragmented, analogue, or even non-existent, lacking readiness for enabling decision making. It’s important to recognise that technology isn’t a universal remedy on its own, but rather a powerful tool when employed alongside a well-defined ESG strategy and the right expertise. Such an approach can be harnessed to pinpoint investment targets, reduce exposure to risk, reduce costs, and create opportunities to differentiate from competitors.

Reducing costs.

By leveraging technology, the process of automating data collection, refining, and analysis across the ESG spectrum not only streamlines the laborious task of gathering data, but also establishes a dynamic feedback loop that validates and refines the outcomes of strategic investments. This mechanism ensures that resources are strategically allocated to deliver optimal value, while simultaneously charting a definitive path towards realising future commitments and objectives.

Recognising the iterative nature of achieving ESG targets, a data-centric roadmap that assesses growth factors, identifies strategic intervention junctures, and quantifies the effects of these, empowers asset owners and managers to present a well-defined trajectory for achieving their objectives.

Value creation.

The generation of reliable, accurate data through a centralised reporting platform opens up a range of opportunities for companies, specifically those operating in the property and construction sectors. These opportunities include attracting tenants, enhancing valuations, and accessing funding. Moreover, as emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, and advanced analytical modelling rely on the quality of the data they access, a robust dataset provides the foundation for forecasting future scenarios, evaluating alternative solutions, and making decisions with heightened certainty. Investing in the foundational processes and infrastructure required to uphold robust datasets enhances both the data’s intrinsic value and the range of opportunities that can be harnessed from it. Furthermore, by leveraging reporting platforms to facilitate improved governance surrounding data collection, storage, and access, asset owners can focus on generating value on the journey ahead, fortified by the assurance that their path is built upon a reliable foundation.

Risk mitigation.

Simply put, risk is defined as ‘the absence of certainty’. The higher the integrity of data and its accuracy in anticipating and reporting performance, the lower the associated risk.

The emergence of additional regulations exacerbates these risks, as audits and validation of ESG strategies strive to dispel greenwashing and establish the reliability of claims. The employment of technology not only simplifies the management of these audits but also reduces the likelihood of discovering errors. Modern technology incorporates structured databases, contains change logs, and facilitates accessibility and scrutiny of underlying assumptions and calculations. This empowers auditors to trace the lineage of data integrity from report to source in a transparent manner that aligns with industry best practices and doesn’t rely on tools confined to spreadsheets that lack transparency and auditability.

As the property and construction industry confronts a multitude of intricate ESG risks and challenges, with the journey to net zero accentuating the complexity, substantial opportunities and value await those who invest wisely. To successfully execute the right strategy, asset owners and managers must equip themselves with the ability to navigate the future with the confidence to make sound decisions, underpinned by precise and traceable datasets that chart a clear path ahead.