Courtesy of the Gender Spectrum Collection
Building inclusive policies into the social component of your ESG reporting can drive positive change.

ESG Intersections and Reporting Your Successes (BOMA 2024 Preview)

June 19, 2024
The three components of ESG—Environmental, Social and Governance—interact to form a holistic view of how your company operates. This 2024 BOMA International Conference & Expo interactive session will demonstrate how to improve policies and beef up reporting.

How robust is your environmental, social and governance (ESG) platform? Has your company lost focus, or is your reporting stronger than ever? An educational session set for Tuesday, July 16 at the 2024 BOMA International Conference & Expo, “Advancing Environmental and Social Governance for Lasting Impact,” will meet you wherever you are with an interactive look at all three components of ESG and how they intersect.

“What we’re hoping, especially from the interactive portion, is that people walk away with an understanding of high-impact and low-effort vs. high-impact and high-effort strategies,” explained Liz Resenic, who will co-present with Gregory Plavcan. Both are Global Design Resilience Leaders and Sustainability Directors at Gensler. “What is something they feel like they heard in the session as something they can put action behind—something they were passionate about integrating into the work they do every day?”

Attendees will start with a high-level overview of ESG and the interconnections between the components. Then they will organize into E, S and G groups to develop strategies and rate them based on impact and effort. “It’s equipping the attendees to leave the session with tangible strategies and build collective understanding,” Resenic said. “Some organizations that are attending might have made more progress in ESG reporting initiatives, so there will be cross-pollination, collaboration and co-learning from folks at their table who have self-organized into the E, S or G categories.”

How Environmental, Social and Governance Factors Intersect

A holistic ESG framework that pays equal attention to environmental, social and governance aspects offers a number of economic, social and environmental benefits if it’s implemented well. The presentation will be equally suited to people who have done ESG reporting in the past and people who haven’t; attendees will walk away with a roadmap of things they can do now, a year from now, or even five years from now. “[ESG] encompasses things that are good for the organization, the individual, the industry they’re in and the investors they’re trying to attract,” Resenic said.

A robust ESG plan can also help attract tenants who are looking for a specific type of building, she added.

“Signaling to the tenants that the building you’re in has goals around a decarbonization target or a climate action response, and there’s transparency back to the tenant, [means] a lot of satisfaction can come from the notion that the space you’re occupying has some sort of eye toward the greater good,” Resenic said.

The same goes for the social component of ESG. For example, intentional steps to foster the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people and other minority groups can demonstrate that the building ownership is responsive to the community in which the space is located. “There are people who will live, work and play within that community, and it will drive satisfaction toward not being an island in the community, but a space that is loud and proud about what inclusive practices they have in place to engage,” Resenic said.

“When we’re consulting our clients, we think about it as broadening our strategic thinking beyond individual perspectives,” added Plavcan. “It’s about understanding how different environmental issues affect different communities, and how implementing strategies for one community could lead to a greater impact for many.”

The presenters will share data from Gensler’s Climate Action Survey showing changing public attitudes toward climate change impacts, as well as information from the firm’s own ESG report. Attendees will also learn about available frameworks they can use that support the components of ESG—for example, the Human Rights Campaign’s rating platform for corporate LGBTQ+ inclusion policies or the Carbon Leadership Forum’s carbon measurement tools.

“I want people to walk away with one thing they feel like is a win they’re already doing that they want to communicate better within their organization, or something they’re passionate about that they want to work on and focus on in their organization,” Resenic said.

About the Author

Janelle Penny | Editor-in-Chief at BUILDINGS

Janelle Penny has been with BUILDINGS since 2010. She is a two-time FOLIO: Eddie award winner who aims to deliver practical, actionable content for building owners and facilities professionals.

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