A commercial office remodel is a big investment and can require significant financial resources. Even if you have a fantastic tenant improvement allowance, you want to make sure you’re making the most of your investment.
A remodel is also an opportunity to think about how the project may impact the environment, and the surrounding communities. An ESG report allows you to communicate the positive impacts of your remodel. There are many opportunities to talk about the intentional, thoughtful, and positive steps your organization took during construction.
Here’s how to measure and communicate your commercial office remodel in your ESG report.
ESG Factors to Consider for Your Commercial Office Remodel
When it comes to ESG reporting, there are three main factors to consider: environmental, social, and governance.
Here’s how your commercial office remodel can impact each of these factors.
Environmental: Your remodel can have a significant impact on the environment. By using sustainable materials, reducing energy consumption, and minimizing waste, you can reduce your carbon footprint and reduce your impact on the planet.
You can use the following to reduce your environmental impact:
- Applying low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint
- Investing in energy-efficient lighting
- Using recycled or eco-friendly building materials
- Including solar panels or wind turbines
- Implementing natural ventilation
- Creating composting and recycling spaces
- Installing a garden, green roof, or green wall
- Maximizing natural lighting
- Working with low-carbon concrete
- Installing smart building sensors
- Installing low-flow or water wise sensors
- Setting up smart building sensors
Social: Your remodel can also have a positive impact on your employees and the community. Creating a more comfortable and functional workspace can improve employee satisfaction and productivity.
Additionally, supporting local businesses and using ethical labor practices can contribute to the well-being of those in your city and state.
For example, you can source your materials from local suppliers, hire local workers, and offer fair wages for the folks you work with.
Governance: Finally, your remodel can have an impact on your company’s governance. By promoting transparency and accountability, you can build trust with stakeholders and improve your reputation.
For example, you can disclose your ESG goals and progress in your annual report, establish a code of conduct for your suppliers, and implement a whistleblower policy to encourage employees to report any unethical behavior during the build.
Measuring Your Impact
To effectively communicate the impact of your commercial office remodel in your ESG report, you need to measure your impact. Here are some key metrics to consider:
Environmental: To measure your environmental impact, track metrics such as energy consumption, water usage, and waste reduction.
You can also calculate your carbon footprint and report on your efforts to reduce it. For example, you can track your energy consumption by using smart meters or energy monitoring software.
You can also measure your waste reduction by tracking the amount of waste you produce before and after your remodel. By measuring your impact, you can identify areas where you can improve and find new ways to offset or minimize negative impacts.
Social: To measure your social impact, you can track metrics such as contractor satisfaction, turnover rates, and community engagement. You can also report on your efforts to support local businesses and promote ethical labor practices.
At the end of the remodel, you could consider conducting employee surveys to measure their satisfaction with the new office design. Be sure to take a “before” survey first!
You can also track your community engagement by reporting on your donations to local charities. Eliminating all waste is likely impossible for a commercial office remodel. Yet, with a little extra work and resourcefulness, you can recirculate items that would be sent to landfills, extending their life and helping those in need.
Governance: To measure your governance impact, you can track metrics such as contractor diversity, compensation, and regulatory compliance. You can also report on your efforts to promote transparency and accountability.
Governance is a bit harder to include in your commercial office remodel, as many of the common practices for governance reporting just don’t apply. Yet, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for opportunities to track your governance impact. For example, consider providing transparency around any regulatory violations or fines.
Communicating Your Commercial Office Remodel Results
Once you’ve measured your impact, it’s important to communicate your results effectively in your ESG report.
Here are some tips for doing so.
Be clear and concise: Your ESG report should be easy to read and understand. Use clear and concise language to explain your impact and avoid using jargon or technical terms that may confuse your readers. Remember, most Americans read at a 6th grade reading level.
Provide context: Explain the goals of your commercial office remodel and how your efforts align with your company’s overall ESG strategy. Let your readers know of your goals before you jump into measurements, be that promoting clean water, giving back to the local community, reducing your carbon footprint, giving marginalized folks leadership opportunities, or minimizing waste.
Use visuals: Use charts, graphs, photos, and other visuals to help illustrate your impact. Visuals can help make your report more engaging and easier to understand.
For your commercial office remodel, work with a photographer to gather photos of the positive impacts. Create a list of shots ahead of time to ensure you capture all the shots you want.
Tell a story: Use storytelling techniques to help bring your impact to life. Share anecdotes or examples of how your remodel has made a difference for your employees, customers, or the environment. This can look like sharing testimonials from an employee who loves the new office design. Or, a quote from an organization in the community you donated extra materials to.
Commercial Office Remodel & ESG: Start with a Plan
Remember, ESG reporting is an ongoing process. You should continue to measure your impact and update your ESG report regularly to reflect your progress. Your commercial office remodel is just one part of the process. This can help you differentiate yourself from competitors who may not be as transparent about their efforts when it comes to using business for good.
Talking about your commercial office remodel in your ESG report is important for communicating the impact of your efforts on the environment, social responsibility, and governance. By measuring your impact and communicating your results effectively, you can build trust with stakeholders and improve your reputation.
Yet, trying to design a beautiful and environmentally friendly office isn’t as easy as it seems. That’s why we always suggest working with a professional.
Want to talk through your commercial office remodel with a sustainable design professional? Fill out a contact form to start the conversation.