Article | Creating Resilience

What’s Exciting About ESG in the Future

February 23, 2022

By Su-Fern Tan

What’s Exciting About ESG in the Future
Following the publication of our 2022 Pacific Market Outlook, CBRE Pacific Senior Director, and Head of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), Su-Fern Tan, shares her outlook for the year ahead.

Where's ESG heading in 2022?

Competition with GRESB scores won't change. However, for the year ahead I see a real focus on wellness, which has been brought forward because of the pandemic. Landlords across the region are trying to bring people back to their buildings across all building types Across the board, we’re seeing people look beyond just the 'E' in 'ESG' and address more social and corporate governance issues. 

What's in store for social and corporate governance?

I expect to see more initiatives that focus on community partnerships and diversity in the Pacific. How diverse is our governing body in the gender spectrum? Do we have any under-represented minorities? There's a lot of room to grow across the industry; standards and boards are forming as we speak. 
Australia faces a competitive outlook – everyone is trying to outdo each other. Overseas, Europe continues to lead the way. But, the fintech side of ESG is moving incredibly fast in the U.S. The outlook is optimistic.

Who's driving the uptake?

Finance is increasingly driving ESG – it's what investors and consumers are chasing. The link between ESG and financial performance is a virtuous cycle.  The public also realises how ESG affects long term sustainable performance. For example, climate change affects the price of insurance premiums, building resiliency and building operations.

Consumers love strong ESG; they want to be associated with it – especially millennials. They see that companies that treat people well, treat the planet well, and have good practices in place, tend to do better. It's just logical. If you continue to ignore ESG, it may work in the short term but not in the long run. Everyone wants to invest in the future and money is finally talking.

What excites you about the future?

The boom in ESG is exciting. I've been campaigning since I was 12 and to see this become mainstream makes me so happy. We are seeing a rise in the sustainability professional, and a real growth in the profession and its diverse range of skills. I'm excited about all the great work we can do and the positive impact we can make. I'm looking forward to getting more people on board; I've met so many people at CBRE who want to be a part of it. So, I'm thrilled about building a community to make the world a better place.

Remember, everyone is a tenant in a building, so we can all relate to the impact commercial real estate plays. Are you in a healthy building? Do you enjoy the amenities? What do they give you? Is it a good workplace? Everyone can relate. Buildings can be beautiful and be works of art. It's the best of both worlds when they're also functional and better for the environment.

Pacific Real Estate Market Outlook 2022

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