This post is part of our “Meet the Experts” series. Read about our ESG Advisory Services to learn how Measurabl can help you accelerate your ESG efforts.
For a number of years, Nuno has worked hand-in-hand with organisations in developing and embedding customised sustainability and net zero programmes that help them set and reach their targets. Based in The UK, Nuno has a strong background and expertise in Sustainable Finance Disclosure frameworks and EU Taxonomy alignment, investment portfolio management and analysis, PCAF Accounting, GHG Protocol standards, B-Corp Certification, TCFD Reporting, UN SDGs Framework application, Product Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), and Science Based Targets (SBTi) reporting.
He’s passionate about creating paths toward creating a more sustainable world, and the role businesses can play in this shift. Check out this Q&A and get to know Nuno:
Why is ESG such a hot topic in Europe, and how are organisations looking to approach it?
ESG has taken centre stage globally due to the growing need to balance financial performance with environmental and social responsibility. One big driver has been regulatory, where policy makers are more interested in ESG because they need the corporate sector to help them solve social problems such as environmental pollution, workplace diversity, affordable housing, etc. An increasing body of research that shows a positive link between ESG performance and financial performance or value creation has also become hard to ignore. Investors are also recognising that companies with good ESG performance are often seen as better managed and less risky, which can lead to higher returns in the long term. A company seeking to incorporate an ESG strategy should first assess what is material to its business and how this impacts its stakeholders, but also how their operations impact people and the environment.
Despite EMEA having more regulations around sustainability than, say the US, would you say strategies and goals and the path toward those goals are similar? Or do organisations in Europe need different guidance on how to achieve those goals?
The underlying end goal is the same in both regions, to reduce carbon emissions by measuring our impact and setting targets, however, the pathway and the speed of implementation to achieve these goals has not been identical. The regulatory landscape in Europe has moved faster and is more expansive, exemplified by financial market participants already being required to make mandatory and standardised ESG disclosures, known as the Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation or SFDR. The latter was introduced in 2019 and implemented in 2021 aimed at reducing greenwashing across the investment community and redirecting capital into more sustainable activities. The detailed level of regulatory requirements in Europe requires careful assessment, and interpretation. For example, when measuring building performance data across European countries there are certain nuances which need to be considered. An EPC rating of B in one country is not the equivalent in another, making it challenging to compare energy efficiency data across property portfolios.
In your opinion, what is the greatest challenge in EMEA when it comes to ESG?
ESG Integration and the standardisation of sustainability reporting. ESG regulation and reporting standards vary greatly across EMEA, leading to difficulties in comparing the ESG performance of companies and making it difficult for investors to make informed decisions. There’s no way to sugarcoat it but a lot of companies also suffer from short termism, choosing to focus on near term financial results at the expense of long term ESG goals. A company that focuses on becoming more resource efficient will often end up lowering their cost base. If we look at buildings that are more energy efficient, more water efficient and better insulated, they will generally have a lower unit-cost structure.
How do you see ESG evolving in 2023 and onward, and what impact will it have on real estate?
I view it evolving in three parts—climate resilience, social value and biodiversity will be key focal areas. We’ll see more real estate companies assessing physical climate risk of their portfolios and choosing to disclose climate-related financial data through frameworks like the TCFD. The integration of social value and biodiversity into internal ESG risk ratings of real estate owners and investors will grow as they look to retrofit and refurbish their existing building portfolio. The retrofitting of existing buildings as a sustainable investment strategy will continue to gain momentum backed by the fact that roughly 80% of the predicted building stock in Europe for 2050 is already in existence today, therefore there is a huge need—and opportunity—to retrofit existing assets. This I believe is the biggest challenge but also the biggest opportunity.
Where do you see European real estate leaders needing the most support with their ESG strategies?
Navigating the evolving landscape of voluntary and mandatory ESG reporting. Integrating ESG into their investment decision-making process to reinforce more resilient cash flows and better capital value preservation.
What value does ESG Advisory Services add to Measurabl’s technology offering, and how can customers benefit from it?
There’s a well-known adage: Data is only useful if you know what you’re using it for. Because ESG Advisory Services is vertically integrated with Measurabl’s offering, it allows us to create strategies based on accurate intelligence. It also allows us to help customers set ambitious and reachable targets with regard to decarbonisation, energy efficiency, and physical climate risk. Advisory Services also increases Measurabl’s capability with regard to the social and governance aspects of a holistic ESG offering where policies with teeth i.e. backed up by data, can be implemented.
What are the key areas where you aim to support Measurabl clients on their ESG journey?
We will be focused on helping real estate companies with portfolio-level ESG strategy, alignment with sustainability regulation, and ESG integration across their organisations. We view it as a circular approach that feeds into our clients’ overall ESG roadmap.
What excites you about Measurabl’s place in the market today?
Measurabl is currently the largest ESG data platform for real estate globally. This allows for the generation of vast amounts of data intelligence, and that’s not just due to scale but also thanks to the talented people at Measurabl. Having this foundation to build on is incredibly exciting.
What will be the most fun part of your new role?
Working with clients and helping them deliver on their sustainability goals.
The experts at Measurabl are ready to help elevate your ESG program. To learn more about Measurabl’s Advisory Services, click here.