Spotlight Report

ESG: 6 Things Building Professionals Need to Know

What exactly is ESG, and what the heck does it have to do with the building industry?

Short for “environmental, social, and governance,” ESG reporting and ratings started as a Wall Street thing. But ESG is quickly becoming a Main Street thing. It’s gone way beyond big, publicly traded corporations, and a lot of companies, for better or worse, are talking about ESG rather than sustainability now.

That means building professionals working in the sustainability realm need to understand this transition in terminology and, in some cases, in substance.

In this Spotlight Report, we take a look at what building professionals need to know about ESG, including:

What ESG does and doesn’t cover

  • The ESG terms, metrics, and frameworks you should know about
  • How ESG works in the real estate industry
  • How specific design and construction decisions can support clients’ broader ESG goals
  • Why building industry firms might want to consider starting their own ESG programs
  • Why ESG isn’t everything

The course includes a glossary of ESG terms, a chart describing seven common reporting programs, and practical advice for building professionals on opportunities to align design and construction strategies with existing ESG goals at client companies.

Learning objectives

  • Identify key environmental, social, and governance performance indicators that are relevant to building portfolios and the building industry, and specify how they fit into ESG categories.
  • Describe the nature and importance of seven distinct ESG programs commonly used for reporting.
  • Explain how GRESB, the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, fits into the larger ESG landscape and how its methodology can inform other industries.
  • Make an informed decision about whether to start an ESG program at your firm.
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