“Carbon Credentials works with a number of market leading real estate organisations in the UK including Hermes Real Estate, The Crown Estate, and Aviva Investors to drive value out of sustainability data. We believe that reporting to GRESB provides companies with a framework for continual improvement of sustainability performance. Working with our property sector clients and as a GRESB Associate Member, Carbon Credentials hopes to encourage more strategic thinking about how GRESB responders approach the requirements of the questionnaire and the results of the benchmark, ultimately to drive sustainability best practice in the real estate sector.”
-Richard Green, Chief Executive Officer at Carbon Credentials
The problem or the situation
Many of the companies we speak with express frustration at the amount of time they spend collating and validating sustainability data, leaving little time for analysis and implementation of initiatives to improve sustainability performance. Collating, storing and analysing sustainability data in non-structured and inflexible databases risks the integrity and accuracy of the data and limits potential for insightful analysis. Furthermore energy performance information, in the appropriate format, is rarely used to effectively engage the individuals that have influence over the asset including facilities managers, asset managers and investors.
Hermes Real Estate recognised a number of these challenges and were looking for a solution that ensured the success of its leading Responsible Property Management (RPM) Programme. Hermes Real Estate see Environmental, Social and Governance risks as critical to their business and integral to this is the active management of the property portfolio which includes industrial, retail and office asset types across the UK.
The process of finding the solution
Carbon Credentials began working with Hermes Real Estate in 2012 conducting EPCs and supporting compliance to the UK’s CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. Based on a successful working relationship, in 2013 Hermes Real Estate approached Carbon Credentials for a solution based on their innovative and holistic sustainability services for organisations of varying sizes and complexities. For Hermes, it was important that Carbon Credentials was able to collate, validate and contextualise multiple data sources at corporate, portfolio, property and meter level.
Of fundamental importance to Hermes was retaining data on the historical performance of the portfolio. During the implementation of Carbon Credentials’ Analytics and Reporting Managed Service, Carbon Credentials successfully cleansed and integrated this historical portfolio information, without loss of any data.
As an investment management company, Hermes own multiple property funds, and their assets are part of Hermes’ RPM Programme. The assets are managed by Property Managers that utilise multiple suppliers, bureaus and data collection tools. Carbon Credentials introduced routine data interrogation and validation across the portfolio to ensure that these multiple data sources are complete and accurate. By developing and maintaining a robust dataset and providing insightful reporting on a monthly basis, stakeholders within the RPM Programme are able to identify and prioritise performance improvement opportunities.
Carbon Credentials continues to develop and expand its data management and reporting capabilities, reinforcing the broadening requirements of the maturing RPM Programme as well as changes to the regulatory market and voluntary frameworks such as GRESB.
Implementation of the solution
Implementation of the Carbon Credentials’ Analytics and Reporting Managed Service commenced in September 2013 with each of the data routines for energy, water and waste fully established across the portfolio by January 2014. In July 2014 the validated data was aggregated and submitted to the Performance Indicators Aspect of the GRESB survey. The Hermes portfolio achieved 4 GRESB Green Stars for its GRESB submissions in that year.
The success of Hermes’ RPM programme is dependent upon driving continual improvement in energy performance across the portfolio. Carbon Credentials’ site level reports have allowed PMs to focus their attention on specific buildings. Carbon Credentials’ in-depth analysis has revealed a number of actions required at the property level to improve the performance of the assets.
Carbon Credentials’ reports are tailored to a range of stakeholders and are therefore a critical tool in facilitating decision making and supporting stakeholder buy-in or board approval.
Carbon Credentials’ programme enables Hermes to measure the success of the RPM programme and also allows it to mature in a fast evolving market in terms of both regulation and best practice. This is fundamental to Hermes’ stakeholders and therefore supports the endorsement of Hermes as an attractive investment opportunity.
For more information please see Carbon Credentials website, and specifically, our blog which elaborates on how we have helped Hermes with their RPM programme, including how our graphic designer helped produce their “Responsibility in Practice” report.
Alternatively, please email [email protected] for more information.