IPUT & Sustainability
IPUT’s core objective is to generate consistent income returns for shareholders through the active management of their portfolio in Dublin. While IPUT has only recently explicitly talked about “sustainability”, the narrative of “good building management” has been a cornerstone of IPUT’s 50 year history. The large overlap between long term management of quality spaces and an integrated sustainability programme has meant that IPUT has quickly been able to adopt a market leading sustainability programme. A key part of that programme was to engage with tenants and talk about IPUT’s sustainability journey, to see how they could collaborate.
Two years ago, IPUT’s board initiated a sustainability programme; while IPUT’s strategy of long term, sustainable returns often incorporated sustainable practices, it was recognised that a more explicit sustainability programme was the clear next step in Irish market leadership.
IPUT partnered with Carbon Credentials, a London-based sustainability consultancy, to produce the sustainability strategy and then to deliver an on-going sustainability programme. IPUT saw that Carbon Credentials had the proven track record of supporting market leading and outcome-focused sustainability programmes. Their quality data-enabled services matched IPUT’s vision of how sustainability should deliver social, environmental and commercial value to IPUT’s investors.
The result has been IPUT’s ‘living’ Sustainability Strategy document which was developed following a stakeholder engagement process and materiality assessment. The strategy was built upon the foundations of IPUT’s governance structure, existing business functions and reporting cycles to ensure the feasibility of the programme. This was key to successfully integrating the programme into IPUT’s business-as-usual operations.
Engaging our tenants
The tenant engagement programme was the product of the collaboration between IPUT, one of their key managing agents, JLL, and Carbon Credentials. IPUT and the managing agents had already been having individual discussions about sustainability with the tenants, particularly about collecting energy and environmental data to better understand our environmental impacts. However, it was agreed that IPUT would host a dedicated “sustainability day” which included engagement at six key central Dublin office buildings.
IPUT had two main objectives in collaborating with tenants on sustainability. The first was to inform and explain the programme, so that tenants can understand and support the activities. The second objective was to actively collaborate to improve IPUT’s buildings and the tenants’ workplaces. This on-going collaboration will include information and data sharing, so that IPUT has a better understanding of what is happening in its buildings.
There are also potential asset improvement projects which will reduce CO2 emissions or improve resource efficiency. It is important that when IPUT talks to its tenants’ about these projects that they understand that they are a part of a larger, market leading programme which is run by experts in sustainability and is designed to reduce environmental impact, but also to save them money.
The first tenant engagement “sustainability day” was held in September 2017. Over the course of a day, there were three round table meetings with tenants from across six assets, with representatives from the majority of tenants attending. Also in attendance were representatives from three different companies who have yet to take occupancy of their space in IPUT buildings, but were invited and interested in what IPUT was doing with regards to sustainability.
While the wider impact of the day has not been fully assessed, the initial feedback was very positive. A key outcome was to agree to an information and data sharing programme, with over two thirds of the attendees expressing interest in participation. Most importantly, IPUT was able to have an open discussion with its tenants about what means to occupy an IPUT building.