Building Labels vs. Environmental Performance Metrics: Measuring What's Important about Building Sustainability

The property sector is fixated on earning environmental plaques for good intentions – often at the expense of actually improving sustainability through informed capital planning. A lack of clear standard metrics is a key obstacle. Achieving consensus on simple sustainability metrics would be an important step to refocus the property sector on performance and highlight the considerable industry progress already made.

We recommend some basic principles including a reduced set of key performance indicators, standardization across regions, alignment with sustainability drivers, and specificity to major user groups. Thought also should be given to how to best tap into standard data reporting systems, to minimize duplication and reduce costs. That said, sustainability is sufficiently new for most organizations that existing systems inevitably will need to be modified or adapted to capture the required raw data. Such efforts should be amply rewarded in the returns from more efficient building operations and more effective capital planning.

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