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With Real-Time Data, Real Estate Firms Can Do More than Just Report on ESG

Leading firms are capitalizing on ESG technology to meet corporate sustainability targets

Today’s real estate owners are under more pressure than ever to demonstrate verifiable progress against their ESG goals. The pressure is coming from all sides: Stakeholders are holding firms more accountable through reporting frameworks like GRESB, which saw a 19.7% increase in participants this year over 2021. 

Meanwhile, legislators are increasingly expecting companies to track and minimize carbon emissions. EU member states last year passed a far-reaching climate law, which sets targets to reduce net EU emissions by 55% by 2030, from 1990 levels, and eliminate them by 2050. Additionally, more than 600 local governments in the United States alone have developed climate action plans that include greenhouse gas inventories and reduction targets in the next 30 years. 

There are also financial opportunities associated with reporting on and improving environmental performance. Tenants are willing to pay a premium for buildings with low carbon footprints—JLL reported a 6% rent premium and 8% sales premium on sustainable office buildings. 

As an ESG technology partner to hundreds of real estate firms in more than 90 countries, Measurabl has seen firsthand how leaders are meeting the demand for better, more quantifiable environmental performance, tackling the challenges that come with it, and reaping the benefits.

Readily available ESG data is a common thread among these industry leaders. Efficient ESG strategies are built around real-time data—not monthly or quarterly data—at the asset level. With real-time data technology, firms can go beyond reporting and understand at a granular level which upgrades and projects are meaningfully reducing energy consumption and carbon output and which buildings have the most room for improvement.

How to Make Real-Time Building Data Work for You

At a minimum, ESG reporting requires firms to measure energy consumption. But the vast majority of firms still get that data from their utility bills, which are typically released monthly. While this cadence may be fine for annual reporting, the information isn’t timely enough for operators to effectively understand how their day-to-day actions affect building performance.

Incorporating real-time building performance data into your ESG strategy is a three-step process:

  1. Acquire Meter Data
    At a minimum, you should capture your buildings’ energy consumption in real time. More data gives you visibility into all your main utilities and helps your team identify potential savings and asset-level improvements across your portfolio.
  2. Centralize Data Across Your Portfolio
    To save valuable time, meter data should be collected and stored alongside real-time performance data in a centralized hub. Instead of wasting time piecing together information from disparate sources, establishing a single source of truth can help you focus on garnering actionable insights and building evidence-based strategies.
  3. Make the Data Accessible Across Teams
    Gathering real-time data can help building owners and operators quickly and efficiently assess how their buildings are performing—but only if the data is presented in a way that resonates with all of these teams. To tell a cohesive story, you need an accessible ESG platform that allows you to clearly report and visualize information that’s useful to all of your stakeholders.
Real-World Benefits of Real-Time Building Data

Some of the industry’s ESG leaders are already gaining a competitive edge with real-time data, including:

Boston Properties (BXP) The largest publicly traded developer, owner, and manager of Class A office properties in the United States has used real-time building data since 2012 to help its operating teams understand and institute energy-saving initiatives. With it, the team can quickly identify and correct anomalies related to adherence to building leasing schedules and equipment cycling, plus find opportunities to optimize equipment staging for start-up and shutdown.

Rubenstein Partners A leading real-estate owner and operator with tremendous expertise in building operational best practices and emerging trends, Rubenstein uses real-time building and tenant sub-meter data to recover utility expenses, earn ENERGY STAR certifications, and identify which buildings need attention.

Want to learn more about how real-time building data can help you reach your corporate sustainability goals?