Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Real estate companies urged to set social standards

A new report by SHARE concludes that the majority of companies in the commercial real estate sector are reluctant to adopt policies going beyond the bare minimum of legally mandated labour standards.

Largely absent so far from the policies evaluated are commitments to responsible contracting, prevailing or fair wages, and freedom of association, SHARE stated in a press release accompanying the report.

The report calls for, among other recommendations, improved disclosure of contracting and procurement policies. “Overall, sustainability reporting by commercial real estate companies is relatively weak in Canada when compared to leading commercial real estate companies internationally.”

The report also suggests that companies incorporate the principles contained in the Responsible Property Services Code into current policies and procedures. “Responsible contractor policies have emerged as an institutional mechanism to address the potential risks posed by precarious work in the property service supply chain.

“Similarly, major commercial property tenants have begun to incorporate social considerations into their procurement processes including in their procurement of property services such as property management, janitorial, maintenance and security services,” the report states. “Through the development of sustainable procurement policies, companies are moving beyond simply price and quality to include environmental and social criteria when purchasing products and services.”

“We are pleased with the efforts of companies that have established responsible contracting policies,” says Shannon Rohan, SHARE's Director of Responsible Investment and author of the report. “Since engaging with commercial real estate over the past four years, we have seen several companies begin to incorporate principles of responsible contracting into corporate policies.”

Nine Canadian commercial real estate companies and five major commercial property tenants were selected for inclusion in this year’s report.

1 comment:

  1. just linked this article on my facebook account. it’s a very interesting article for all.

    Real Estate Companies