I read with interest your article entitled ‘ESG is critical for business’. I was surprised to see no reference to the vital role that technology and data can play in helping the property industry meet its ESG objectives. 

As one of the contributors said, ESG “is not just about the engineering concepts in isolation; it is married with the social dimension”. Indeed, communication between real estate businesses, their suppliers and clients is critical to achieving better service standards and therefore relationships to ensure longer-term engagement.

Innovative proptech solutions facilitate engagement and collaboration, providing the centralisation and quality of data capture, analysis and reporting needed to keep on top of the challenges of managing complex fluid portfolios and to report and act effectively on an ESG strategy.

Equally as important is having a strategy and systems to manage and mitigate financial risks associated with energy supply costs. Ensuring appropriate governance is in place will protect real estate businesses from situations like today’s energy crisis.

The need for a carefully planned strategy for buying energy has really driven home the benefits of risk-managed flexible energy contracts to protect budgets and enable more effective financial planning and management.

While buying energy effectively to reduce exposure to market forces is crucial, it is becoming ever more important from an ESG perspective to understand the best way to purchase renewable energy from both a quality and cost perspective. Inadvertently taking the wrong approach could send unintended signals that do not align with an ESG framework.

To make effective decisions, centralised energy and sustainability data management systems (and embedded processes) are critical to understanding how and where energy is used by landlords and tenants, as well as to measure and report on the impact of any subsequent actions taken to reduce emissions.

Paul Edwards, operations director, Alfa Energy Group