Real estate companies are increasingly evaluating their sustainability based on environmental, social, and governance criteria and incorporating ESG values into their daily operations. However, the industry is often facing difficulties in defining a clear strategy and needs additional solutions that they can leverage into ESG policies.
We have already answered what ESG means, how it is measured and reported, and how ESG creates value. Now, we are going to provide you with more examples of how the implementation of PropTech solutions, based on Singu FM – facility management and building operations system with tenant app, can unlock ESG's strategic value.
Putting the ‘E’ in ESG
The 'E' in ESG stands for environmental impact, or how a company manages risk and lessens negative effects on our planet. Environmentally unsustainable companies are likely to face higher levels of financial risk. The use of facility and maintenance management software, as one of the examples of the PropTech solution, can help organizations reduce their environmental impact in a variety of ways.
Here are the main three ways how Singu FM can help with environmental factors.
1. Sustainable Property Management and Maintenance
A properly implemented CAFM system supports the optimization of processes by collecting and analyzing building data, its processes, equipment, and condition/performance of installations. The facility management system works as a central reporting tool that can be applied across a property or portfolio to monitor many aspects that impact directly on the sustainability of real estate like water consumption. It may also include external aspects such as planted areas and car parks.
It is important to have a database of equipment with information such as warranties, equipment usage, or history of repairs. As assets age and the likelihood of faults increases, even if they are minor, energy consumption increases and the health or performance of the asset declines.
Therefore, companies that want to incorporate ESG principles into their facility management and maintenance strategies must implement proactive maintenance plans using planned and preventive maintenance software. In addition, the use of big data and analytics can enable facility managers to plan preventive, predictive maintenance, reduce unnecessary maintenance and ensure that all assets are operating at top efficiency. Singu FM is equipped with advanced reactive and preventive maintenance management modules to enhance safety, monitor equipment lifecycle while ensuring data transparency. The app also sends smart alerts in case of any infrastructure anomalies, so everything is under control.
2. Tracking and Monitoring Energy and Water Usage
Measuring sustainability in real estate involves operational performance factors such as energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, indoor air quality, safety, or waste management. A company with a comprehensive ESG strategy provides investors and property managers with quantifiable performance data.
Singu FM, thanks to integration with multifunctional IoT sensors, streamlines more optional energy management as well as tracking and monitoring of water or energy consumption. IoT sensors integrated with Singu also help with monitoring other parameters such as CO2 levels, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, people presence, and much more. This data can be tracked by managers, who can receive notifications when sensor readings are exceeded. It allows for more optimal management of energy consumption.
Meter usage can also be monitored by tenants using the Singu Tenant App. An intuitive dashboard displays current and historical meters information. According to the WorldGBC’s 'The Building System Carbon Framework' real estate and construction produce 40 percent of the world's greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. An additional 30 percent of greenhouse gases are emitted by daily activities around buildings.
Tenants’ operations can have a huge influence on how much energy the building consumes. Various studies indicate that a large portion of energy savings in buildings is not directly attributed to the building's design or machinery, but to the daily activities of tenants. Tenants have a strong impact on building energy consumption, so they are more often required to have access to utility usage from their dedicated applications for tenants. Using a tenant app, tenants can monitor their utility usage in real-time, which can help them adhere to their ESG policies.
3. Reduction of Paper Usage
CAFM systems greatly reduce the number of printed documents and therefore help to protect the environment. It is possible by replacing all paper-based processes with digital ones, for example, performing online inspections, archiving digital documents, or keeping the e-history of assets.
On average, 3,500 to 7,000 inspections and 7,000 to 10,000 tickets can be added to the system in a single building during one year after implementing Singu FM. Replacing just paper-based inspections and work orders with the Singu ESG software in only one building could save between 16,000 and 27,500 sheets of paper. Think about what would be the statistics if Singu FM was implemented across a bigger portfolio, perhaps with additional modules that enabled the digitization of even more processes?
Putting the ‘S’ in ESG
The ‘S’ in a company's ESG program looks at how the business treat’s its employees, the society it operates in, and its political environment.
How can PropTech and Singu FM help with social issues when it comes to ESG?
1. Employee Relations and Tenant Experience
Based on Singu Tenant App, one of the mobile applications for the tenant community, it is possible to improve occupiers’ experience and employee relations in many ways. By utilizing intuitive mobile-friendly solutions, they can, e.g.:
• Easily reserve conference rooms and facilities and request extra service if needed
• Share their experiences and feedback through the rating module
• Access useful information such as the closest restaurants around the building they work, parking or public transport information
• Get informed about social events and other initiatives that happen in their workplace or even get extra coupons with discount codes
All to make their lives easier and their work more efficient. Additionally, tenant apps provide managers with a convenient way to promote social responsibility, health, and sports initiatives to the building community. This is a great way to retain tenants and keep a facility as an attractive property to rent and work in.
PropTech solutions streamline communication with tenants, resulting in a more involved tenant community. Singu improves communication not just between real estate owners and property managers with tenants, but also between everyone else involved in the building, like technicians, vendors, cleaning, and security employees, as well as facility managers, asset managers, or general contractors. As a one integrated solution, through an easy-to-use mobile application, everyone is constantly informed about
2. Employee Well-being
Policies around reducing waste, minimizing water consumption, or using sustainable construction materials are highly important but not enough. PropTech and IoT sensors enable employees and occupiers to monitor various parameters, for example:
• Indoor air quality
• The usage levels of meeting rooms and workstations
• CO2 levels
• The temperature of the facility for optimized energy consumption, and more
It has a significant impact on the overall well-being of employees and occupiers, who can access and monitor data in real-time. PropTech provides businesses with the data they need to prove they are proactively improving workplace health, well-being, and productivity, rather than making empty promises about enhancing employee wellbeing and satisfaction.
3. Employee Health and Safety
Facility and maintenance management software solutions can also help organizations to stay safe during this unsure COVID-19 era. Here are some of the examples of how Singu FM can reduce the risk of infection in the facility:
- Dedicated ticket types in case of coronavirus with high priority levels and automatic notifications and build-in escalation
- New ticket categories with specific workflow rules
- Checklists including the necessary actions to be taken for COVID-19 prevention
- Ability to send coronavirus alert messages with automatically set high priorities
Another aspect where PropTech can play a huge role in terms of health and safety are automatic smart alerts and notifications, for example, when a certain equipment meter’s reading deviates from the norm. It helps to faster investigate and handle the potential problem.
A safe building means a safe workplace. CAFM and CMMS software solutions streamline and standardize various building operations such as:
• Preventive maintenance inspections to stay in control of building management and prolong lifespan of equipment.
• Property surveys including Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) audits
• Equipment management to, for example, monitor assets’ lifetime, track downtime, or have a quick access to asset history, defined inspections, or warranties
Putting the ‘G’ in ESG
The ‘G’ in the ESG program stands for governance. This term is defined as the internal practices, procedures, and controls a company has when governing itself, making effective decisions, complying with the law, and meeting external stakeholders' needs.
Here are some examples of how PropTech and Singu FM can have a positive influence on corporate governance.
1. (Big) Data Collection
Good corporate governance requires high quality of data. It is said that "what is not measured is not managed and what is not managed cannot be improved”. The facility & maintenance management systems collect data over time, which have great analytical value in a long run. Consequently, managers and owners can easier analyse data using relevant reports and make data-based decisions.
It is important to be aware of data risks, such as data theft or leakage and unauthorized access to data. When partnering with Velis, you will receive the latest encryption technologies and strict international security standards. Singu FM is ISO 27001:2013 certified, with Information Security Management (ISM) techniques implemented, and security procedures are regularly updated to ensure all Singu PropTech solutions are as secure as possible.
2. Transparency in Cost Management
Singu FM and personalized cost acceptance workflows allow organizations to track every dollar spent, monitoring who and when accepts or rejects each cost, for example, related to the maintenance issues within the added ticket to the system. This is also a good way in case of anti-bribery and anti-corruption reviews. With Singu FM, the entire procurement process is monitored in real-time and is fully transparent. The tool streamlines and standardizes the vendor selection having all necessary vendor information such as quality, reliability, or price list gathered in one place. Having all history of tickets place as well as documents securely stored in a digital version is essential for ensuring corporate governance.
3. Real Estate Portfolio Management and Benchmarking
For effective corporate governance, shareholders and stakeholders must have access to transparent and available data. Smart buildings empowered with PropTech platforms present information in a way that is easy to understand, interpret, and use for key stakeholders.
Singu FM enables convenient monitoring of all real estate portfolios, so managers and owners can access all building data in one place and enhance the coordination of global property portfolios. Singu streamlines portfolio management and benchmarking allowing to monitor for example:
• Aging of infrastructure
• Service-Level Agreement (SLA)
• Quality of vendor services
• Tenants’ satisfaction level
• Recently repaired equipment
• Key performance indicators (KPIs)
Another helpful governance feature is the Virtual Document Management System, also known as the Virtual Data Room, which allows you to store and archive all important documents, safety certificates, and more. It is also a practical way to manage archiving and makes the due diligence process easier than ever. Required documents can be searched and retrieved as needed.
With the help of PropTech, you can ensure that you collect and report non-financial information efficiently. As real estate technology improves, businesses should use it more often to improve efficiency and increase productivity.
Facility management solution, building operations system, and tenant management software give you full control over your buildings, reducing consumption, improving employee and tenant experience, streamlining transparent data gathering, and so much more. That’s why real estate companies are more likely to seek out partners that meet ESG criteria and provide solutions that can help them achieve their ESG goals.
Are you looking for more information about Singu FM and our ESG reporting software for real estate and how it can contribute to ESG values in your company? You can contact us today to get a free consultation and a trial version of Singu FM.