ESG Consulting

Future-Proofing your CRE Assets with ESG Strategy

Understanding ESG Consulting

In the realm of commercial real estate ownership and lending, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors have emerged as critical indicators of an organization’s commitment to sustainable business success. ESG encompasses a range of considerations that guide decision-making, ensuring businesses align with global environmental goals, social equity and wellbeing, and effective governance structures.

At the property level, ESG is focused on efficient use of resources, a healthy occupant experience, and sound risk management practices. ESG at the building level translates to energy and water savings, resilience to natural hazards and disruption, high tenant desirability, and ultimately, protection of property value.

At AEI Consultants, we apply ESG to ensure CRE assets retain their value going forward and to help our clients document their ESG progress.

Why Hire an ESG Consultant?

Engaging an ESG consultant offers expert knowledge and clear guidance through what can often be a confusing and ever-changing landscape. There are multiple advantages to tapping into a consultant’s expertise, including:

Risk Mitigation & Compliance

Identify and address potential risks and take advantage of opportunities to enhance property values, reduce operating expenses, and enhance long-term sustainability. Document compliance with ESG related reporting requirements.

Enhanced Reputation

Establish credibility as a socially responsible and environmentally conscious organization.

Stakeholder Confidence

Build trust among investors, customers, and partners through transparent ESG practices that are fully integrated with existing risk management, due diligence and capital planning processes.

Value Presentation & Growth

Leverage sustainable practices to drive sustainable property value and attract tenants and investors.

Customized ESG Consulting Services

Every ESG service we offer is designed to help craft a sustainable future for our clients’ assets and properties. We take pride in providing a personalized experience, tailoring our services to meet the unique needs of each owner, lender, and organization. Beyond transactional engagements, we cultivate lasting relationships, diving deep into our clients’ challenges to determine the best approaches for sustainable success.

Our Core ESG Services

1. ESG Sustainability Strategy & Reporting

ESG materiality assessments can be fully integrated with traditional due diligence workflows by adding ESG checklists or memos to other services such as Property Condition Assessments and Environmental Site Assessments. This streamlines the reporting and workflow for our clients and ensures all deliverables are informed with responsibility at its core.

The ESG Checklist items are customized to our clients’ specific needs. Whether reporting to a specific framework, such as GRESB, or simply beginning the process of understanding the exposure to building performance standards (BPS), we can customize an ESG checklist for adding to other deliverables or an ESG memo to be provided separately..

AEI can help you design and measure your ESG goals for adding value to your property portfolio and acquisitions.

2. ESG Policy and Decarbonization Pathway

Beyond checklists and reports, our experts can help you develop a customized ESG roadmap and compliance approach to Building Performance Standards (BPS). This compliance review and verification includes energy benchmarking requirements, water use and/or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limits, depending on the applicable jurisdiction. 

Our Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy teams work closely with our ESG group to support our clients’ goals for electrification, renewables, and energy compliance. We can incorporate ESG strategies into energy audits to align energy and carbon reduction aspects of your ESG policy with asset operations.

3. Special ESG Projects

We offer tailored solutions to address your unique ESG needs, ensuring flexibility and customization for every client. Whether you want to upgrade to more energy efficient equipment, incorporate renewable energy power sources on your property, or attain Green Building Certifications (e.g., LEED, BREEAM), we can identify incentives available to help you continue setting and reaching your overall ESG goals.

Resources

Stay informed about the latest developments regarding ESG. Visit our blog for valuable insights, trends, and expert perspectives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs ESG?

ESG is relevant to all organizations, irrespective of size or industry, aiming to align business practices with sustainable and responsible principles. At AEI, we work with commercial real estate owners and lenders to ensure their assets and properties are in alignment with their ESG goals.

Who sets ESG standards?

ESG standards are typically set by governments and institutions. There are various organizations and frameworks, such as GRI, SASB, GRESB, and TCFD, that contribute to the development of these standards.

Is ESG reporting mandatory in the United States?

While not universally mandated, an increasing number of investors and stakeholders are demanding ESG transparency, making reporting a strategic imperative. This is especially true for anyone working with a non-U.S. institution that does require reporting on their end.

The SEC climate-related disclosure is likely to have an impact on ESG reporting. It should also be noted that, while ISSB (IFRS S1 and S2) don’t affect the U.S. directly, it may influence companies with European investors.

What are the 3 pillars of ESG?

The three pillars of ESG are Environmental (E), Social (S), and Governance (G), collectively addressing an organization’s impact on the planet, society, and internal governance structures. At AEI, we bring this down to the property level and provide consulting on the ESG elements within commercial real estate assets.

What is the main purpose of ESG reporting?

ESG reporting serves to communicate an organization’s performance in all aspects of environmental, social, and governance issues in an effort to foster transparency and accountability across the company and to its stakeholders.

Meet Our ESG Consulting Team

Helena Ariza

Helena Ariza is an architect from Barcelona, licensed as a Registered Architect (RA) in the State of New York as well as her native Spain. Due to her love for the environment, early in her career she decided to focus on promoting sustainable practices and tackling climate risk. Helena currently leads the Sustainability & Resilience Division of AEI Consultants, overseeing ESG services and Property Resilience Assessments for multi-family and commercial properties. With a background in façade design and energy code compliance, she combines her diverse experience to develop innovative approaches to fulfill the industry needs and requirements in a fast-evolving environment.

Helena’s passion for green design and construction started during her career in Barcelona, where she worked for the local government. During that period, her interest in sustainable practices led her to obtain a postgraduate degree in Architectural Restoration, along with other studies focused on energy efficiency for social housing. Since she moved to New York in 2015, Helena continues to keep an eye on European regulations in order to help anticipate future needs in the Americas.

 

At AEI Consultants, we are committed to steering you towards a sustainable and responsible future. Partner with us to elevate your ESG practices and build a resilient foundation for long-term success.

 

Speak with an ESG Consultant Today

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