Avison Young adopts UN Sustainable Development Goals alignment protocol29 Sep 2020
Toronto, ON – Avison Young today announced it has adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) alignment protocol. In addition, the firm’s Global Investment Management group has become a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Both steps are featured in Avison Young’s new 2019 Global Citizenship Report as the firm expands its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Wellness strategy, closely aligning to Avison Young’s brand purpose to create real economic, social and environmental value, powered by people.
“We’re evolving our Global Citizenship strategy to address our own operations’ and our clients’ evolving ESG needs to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues,” said Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young. “We fundamentally believe in the positive impact commercial real estate can make in people’s lives and are working together to find better ways for real estate to perform at a human scale to meet our clients’ needs, goals and their own ESG commitments.”
The UN SDGs are the world’s blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future. Avison Young has identified eight SDGs where it can make its greatest contributions – both as a business and as an advisor to clients – focusing on clean energy and climate action; good health and social justice; and sustainable cities and responsible consumption.
“ESG and Wellness are more important than ever to us and our clients – from corporate occupiers to local and national governments to investors,” said Amy Erixon, President of Global Investment Management, and lead of GRESB Reporting and the firm’s Global Citizenship group. “We are moving from simply measuring our ESG performance to embedding ESG best practices in how we perform our services and guide our clients to help them meet their ESG goals.”
Along with providing more in-depth ESG training to Avison Young employees, the firm plans to add dedicated professionals to deliver technical expertise and a new suite of sustainability products and services for clients. This builds on its current sustainability consulting and management services for owners and occupiers of real estate – from ESG strategy and reporting to net zero carbon and climate risk strategy to “green” design and construction management.
As part of its evolved ESG and Wellness strategy, Avison Young is conducting a materiality assessment to help identify the ESG themes and impacts that matter most to clients and the firm’s business. In aligning the firm’s program with universally used frameworks such as the UN SDGs and UN PRI, Avison Young will be expanding its future performance reporting.