• Building Retrofits
  • Building Automation Systems
  • Energy Management
  • Data Analytics
  • Intelligent Building Management Systems

Three Ways ESG Strategies Can Help Building Managers Build Back Better

Apr 29, 2020


Building managers have an opportunity to build resilience and portfolio value through intelligent building investments. New asset valuation metrics based on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies are gaining wide market acceptance. Building managers can attain ESG value by making retrofit investments with real-time energy monitoring capability, selecting investments according to needs in specific verticals, and seeking operational benefits and ROI.

Focus on Capturing Granular, Real-Time Data

One challenge with implementing ESG is performance measurement. Newer ESG rubrics such as the FTSE Russell and the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark are evolving toward an emphasis on real-time energy performance data. For building managers, relying only on estimated usage data or building certifications for ESG scores will leave much value unaccounted for in the future. For this reason, building managers should ensure their energy management systems collect and aggregate data on the most granular level possible.

Tailor Energy Investments to Specific Verticals and Portfolio Needs

The systems that best capture, aggregate, and analyze real-time building data will vary according to building and portfolio size, verticals, and other factors. Building managers should consider these variables when making an investment case to ownership and lease holders. Fortunately, ROI is clearer in today’s building automation systems, which find more energy savings through Internet of Things (IoT) device deployment and data analysis in the cloud. For example, GridPoint Energy Manager offers enterprisewide, real-time energy monitoring based on IoT applications through a low upfront cost, hardware-inclusive subscription. A savings guarantee exceeds the subscription cost, meaning the customer will receive benefits measured in energy savings and ESG performance. This kind of solution is well-suited to the midsize retail market.

Stress Operational Resilience and ROI

Building systems that enable energy savings also help manage crisis-level operational challenges. For example, building automation systems’ customer wayfinding and asset tracking features can guide emergency response protocols and predictive supply analytics to minimize operational disruptions during a crisis. Additionally, advanced data analytics can influence inventory layout and customer journeys to minimize potential virus transmission. These functions can improve social media notifications to customers and the effectiveness of online fulfillment as a relief strategy when stores cannot meet surging demand. Similar benefits exist for use cases in other verticals.

As building managers seek greater portfolio resilience against future economic shocks, systems that provide high data granularity and control at low CAPEX generate value as ESG investments. To learn more about the increased capabilities of intelligent building systems and their potential ESG impacts, see Guidehouse Insights’ recent report, Building Automation Solutions for Commercial Buildings.