According to a study on the economic stakes of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI France), intangible capital represents a considerable part of a company’s value and reputation. Intangible capital refers to all the non-quantifiable values, skills and techniques of a company.
An important lever to positively impact the intangible capital, in the long term, is execution of a CSR strategy, through the consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
In this episode of Urban Chronicles™, we have selected three CSR approaches to create economic value.
Basics: Aiming for operational excellence
When thinking the value chain of construction materials, reducing its energy costs and/or reducing its operating waste, the benefits of material operational excellence are numerous. For example, we know that engaging in energy efficiency to reduce consumption, not only reduces your environmental footprint but also saves money. As seen by SAMSIC, a French company committed to an energy efficiency approach through awareness-raising and training actions across its activities to preserve the environment and reduce energy consumption. In 2015, its actions resulted in reduction of electrical consumption, of its real estate park, by 29%. Proof of what can be achieved in the real estate, and that it constitutes an important lever for reducing operational costs.
Innovation to increase a building usage value
BNP Paribas Real Estate’s CSR & Sustainable Development Department has carried out an in-depth strategic review of the value in use of tertiary buildings. For Catherine Papillon, Director of CSR and Sustainable Development at BNP Paribas Real Estate, this value “corresponds to the uses proposed by a building that increase its economic value. In concrete terms, it is the intangible value of this building, beyond its simple material value linked to the price per square meter and its location. ». From this perspective, BNP Real Estate identified the theme “A 365 – 24 /24 building”. A new vision of an office building open and accessible to all, which would live 365 days a year and 24 hours a day. BNP Paribas Real Estate’s CSR strategy, focused on usage value has two advantages: first, it allows part of its ESG objectives to be targeted, through the expectations of its buildings’ users. Secondly, by working on the evolution of possible uses that integrate themes such as the modularity of spaces, or well-being. This strategic focus on usage value is presented within BNP as a concrete lever for creating economic value. In addition, this strategy is part of a forward-looking monitoring approach that was launched, with the facilitation of Green Soluce, during a co-construction workshop last October.
The rational approach: Obtaining environmental certifications
As part of the research work for the development of the Sustainability Certification Barometer ™, Green Soluce has worked on a first approach to “Sustainable Value” for tertiary buildings which target an environmental certification. The scope of the study focused only the Paris region, comparing those buildings that have aimed for an environmental certification and those that didn’t. The preliminary results shows that in the central business district and in the western crescent of the Paris area, the achievement of a certification has no significant impact on the value per m2. However, in less central areas, achieving an environmental certification plays a role in determining the economic value of the office buildings.
Although, a preliminary study, it appears that an environmental certification does constitute a real lever for creating intangible economic value. This trend is also observed on how specialised financial funds integrate certified buildings into their real estate stock.
In the long term, engaging in a strong CSR strategy should include the intangible value and the resilience of your real estate park.
Find the latest figures on the Sustainability Certification Barometer ™ 2018 !
Article researched and written by Clara Henry and Constance Flachaire for Urban Chronicles™
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