A 7-Step Approach to Sustainable Asset Management


Recognising the paramount importance of comprehending property assets in achieving a genuine net-zero position to meet ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) requirements is imperative in today’s landscape. The Asset Management industry, like many others, is placing an increasing emphasis on sustainability. While the environmental impact for future generations is a critical aspect, the advantages of prioritising sustainability extend to economic benefits, including reduced waste, enhanced efficiency, and consequential cost savings for both organisations and individuals.

To guide professionals in the Asset Management sector toward sustainable practices, we’ve formulated a practical 7-step approach. These steps aim to help organisations navigate the complex landscape of sustainability and integrate it seamlessly into their operations.

1. Assess Current Sustainability Practices:

Initiate the sustainability journey by conducting a thorough evaluation of your organisation’s current practices. Examine existing metrics related to water and electricity consumption, waste management, and recycling. Compare these practices against industry benchmarks to gain insights into your organisation’s standing within the broader context.

2. Define Sustainability Goals and Metrics:

After the initial assessment, establish clear and measurable sustainability goals aligned with your organisation’s values and objectives. Develop key performance indicators (KPIs) that will guide your progress. Engage stakeholders from various departments to ensure an integrated approach that integrates diverse perspectives.

3. Integrate Sustainability into Core Operations:

Go beyond setting goals and embed sustainability into the core operations of your organisation. This involves aligning business processes, decision-making frameworks, and resource allocations with the overarching sustainability strategy. It may also require adjustments to product design, supply chain management, and daily operational practices.

4. Incorporate ESG Factors into Investment Decisions:

Expand the sustainability lens to investment decisions by incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors. Evaluate potential investments based on their impact on the environment, social responsibility, and governance structures. This step ensures that the organisation’s financial decisions align with its commitment to sustainability.

5. Implement Sustainable Supply Chain Practices:

Extend sustainability efforts to your supply chain. Collaborate with suppliers to integrate eco-friendly practices, ethical labour standards, and responsible sourcing. Assess the environmental and social impact of the entire supply chain, finding areas for improvement and collaboration with suppliers to implement positive changes.

6. Engage Stakeholders in Sustainability Initiatives:

Foster a culture of sustainability by engaging stakeholders, including employees, customers, and communities. Encourage active participation and feedback mechanisms to ensure a collective effort toward sustainability goals. Consider organising awareness programs, workshops, and initiatives that involve and educate stakeholders on sustainable practices.

7. Establish a Continuous Improvement Framework:

Implement a robust framework for continuous monitoring and improvement. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of sustainability practices against established goals and industry benchmarks. Utilise feedback loops to find areas for enhancement and innovation. Embrace emerging sustainability standards and trends to stay at the forefront of environmental stewardship.

Actionable Questions for Enhanced Sustainability. In addition to the steps above, consider these questions;

  • How is the organisation addressing social equity and inclusion in its sustainability efforts?
  • What measures are in place to promote circular economy principles within the organisation?
  • Does the organisation actively contribute to community-based sustainability projects?
  • How are employees incentivised and recognised for their contributions to sustainability?
  • Is there a comprehensive risk management strategy in place to address emerging environmental and social challenges?

In conclusion, this extended 7-step approach to sustainable asset management emphasises the integration of sustainability into every facet of organisational operations. By expanding the scope to supply chain practices, stakeholder engagement, and continuous improvement, organisations can establish a resilient and forward-thinking foundation for long-term environmental and economic sustainability.