Sustainability Journey: Being environmentally and socially conscious is a path that begins with the first step.
Check out a guide to kickstart your transformation journey and prepare your company for the future.
Sustainable practices have become a top priority for companies aiming for the longevity of their businesses. Investors, customers, talents, and society as a whole increasingly value companies that adopt responsible actions. This is driven by the palpable environmental crisis manifested through more frequent extreme weather events, as well as social inequality highlighted by the effects of the pandemic.
"Despite the urgency of the issue, transformation does not happen overnight. The sustainability journey is a long process that starts with the first step and involves a shift in mindset. Companies need to ask themselves: How can I generate profit responsibly?" says Luciana Arouca, Director of Sustainability at JLL.
The real estate market plays a significant role in this discussion as it accounts for 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, any company with physical assets should be concerned with reducing its impacts.
Embarking on the sustainability journey:
When embarking on your sustainability journey, be prepared to follow the following trajectory:
Understand where your business stands by conducting a diagnosis of your operations. Establish indicators and objectives. Develop an action plan with achievable goals. Work with timelines, priorities, and allocate resources for sustainability projects.
Map out the easiest, quickest, and most cost-effective actions to implement and start them immediately. At the same time, plan for long-term challenges and identify sources of funding for larger projects. Tip: Base your actions on the desired outcomes rather than the currently available resources.
Establish metrics, continuously monitor performance, and analyze data. Choosing a sustainability reporting framework helps guide information collection and communicate results to the market. And remember, data needs verification—this is a measure to deter greenwashing practices.
Technology connects all the previous steps: it provides visibility to the plan and action status, facilitates data collection, monitoring, and analysis, generates reports, identifies opportunities for performance improvement, and automates certain processes, reducing the likelihood of errors.
In Brazil, there is currently no regulation mandating companies to commit to the ESG agenda. However, considering more mature markets, it is expected that specific legislation on the topic will eventually emerge. Therefore, there is a window of opportunity for companies to embark on their sustainability journey in advance, differentiating themselves from future competitors.
"Sustainability is not a fad; JLL has robust research that confirms this. The ESG agenda is related to the environment but also to the business itself, operational efficiency, risk management, and the workforce, especially millennials—a more conscious generation that seeks purposeful work and brings these concerns to the forefront when consuming. Ultimately, in the battle for talent and customers, companies that excel in ESG gain a competitive advantage," emphasizes Luciana.