Expert Eye - Sustainability practices in real estate

Yash Shah - Property Sales & Leasing Manager, SPF RealtyYash Shah - Property Sales & Leasing Manager, SPF Realty

Sustainability is the current buzzword in the corporate world. The integration of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda within the company’s corporate strategies and communicating these effectively and transparently to business associates and customers help companies reap brand and reputational rewards. The activities help organisations achieve a balance between profitable operation and ethical practice.

The real estate fraternity is also making sustainability a priority, recognising that it has to give back to the society. The sector across the world is jumping on the bandwagon of sustainability and CSR in a big way. High-profile real estate promoters are adopting the practice of sustainability, emphasising on community development programmes and incorporating environmental and governance initiatives into their corporate culture.

The corporatisation of the real estate industry is the main reason behind the upswing in CSR activities. Real estate companies can get involved in a range of activi ties as developers, manufacturers or retailers do, starting a systematic process of corporate responsibility in the industry. This can be achieved with policies to use resources efficiently, positively impacting on their customers, stakeholders and local communities.

The CSR practices adopted by real estate players are aimed to support their strategic objectives and enhance their corporate reputation. Such strategies are set out to improve the impact of the business on the society, minimise the negative influence on the environment and stay as a reliable service provider to customers and business associates. The CSR activities should be capable of meeting the expectations of the investors/property buyers, and demonstrate a commitment to social and environmental responsibilities.

There are numerous CSR solutions tailor-made for the real estate sector. The primary level of CSR activities includes incorporating transparency, corporate governance, risk compliance and creating a diverse human resource in the operation. The activities should be framed with the aim to improve quality and transparency of customer service, enhance ethical behaviour in relationships with customers and maintain adherence to contract terms like timeliness and quality.

In the next level, the CSR strategies should promote environmental causes or green initiatives, support social and philanthropic programmes and engage with communities and stakeholders. The idea is not only about spending a certain per cent of the profit on CSR projects, but also about displaying social sensitivity and responsibility in the overall business.

As part of the CSR strategy, real estate service providers are also advised to measure the economic impact of their business (the number of jobs or economic value created by those activities) on local communities. This will help maintain sustain-ability, growth and economic diversity in the real estate market.

When it comes to the Dubai realty market, such strategies will help highlight the city’s position as one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world.

Dubai follows a comprehensive system of sustainable real estate solutions. The authorities have developed and implemented policies to enhance its status at the global level as a leading destination for the development of integrated solutions for the realty sector.

The industry players have a great role to play here. They should strive to build good relations with the local communities through thoughtful activities to reach potential stakeholders. Such activities will help them build a sense of solidarity with the environment.

This will continue to contribute to Dubai’s status as a most sought-after investment destination in the coming years.

The primary level of CSR activities in the realty sector includes incorporating transparency, corporate governance and risk compliance


Source: Yash Shah, Special to Freehold

The writer is a Property Sales & Leasing Manager, SPF Realty


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