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ESG

How a tenant experience app helps you comply with ESG frameworks

Discover how tenant experience apps can help property managers comply with ESG frameworks and enhance sustainability. Learn about the WELL Community Standard, WELL V2 Building Standard, BREEAM In-Use, and GRESB, and how apps like Chainels improve environmental performance, foster community engagement, and ensure governance transparency.

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) frameworks are crucial for sustainable property management. What’s more, compliance with them can be a net positive for your business. 

  • 85% of investors consider ESG factors in their decisions, according to a 2023 Morgan Stanley survey.

  • Research by Deloitte shows that robust ESG practices can boost company valuation by up to 25% and reduce operational costs by 20%. 

Tenant experience apps are key in this context, providing tools to enhance environmental sustainability, foster community engagement, and ensure governance transparency. This blog post explores how these apps can help you comply with ESG frameworks, driving tenant satisfaction and better environmental performance.

We’ll discuss four separate ESG frameworks and explore how a tenant experience app can help you score points in key areas. We’ll discuss,

WELL Community Standard

The WELL Community Standard framework is designed to enhance the health and well-being of entire communities. It provides guidelines for creating neighbourhoods that prioritise clean air and water, access to healthy food, physical activity, social equity, mental well-being, and community engagement.

In this section, we’ll discuss how digital tech can help meet WELL’s guidelines in two specific areas: extreme weather warnings and food advertising.

Extreme weather warnings

The impacts of global warmings have become more pronounced in recent years. With extreme weather breaking records every year.

Europe has experienced several notable heatwaves in recent years. The 2019 European heatwave, for instance, shattered temperature records across the continent. France recorded its highest temperature ever at 46°C (114.8°F) on June 28, 2019, during this heatwave.

The same is happening for cold snaps. For example, in February 2021, parts of the central and southern United States experienced historically cold temperatures during an extreme cold outbreak associated with a disrupted polar vortex.

This puts your tenants at higher risk of health conditions related to severe weather, like hyperthermia, respiratory issues and heat exhaustion. This is especially true for the more vulnerable sections of society, such as the elderly or people living with disabilities.

Therefore timely alerts are vital for safeguarding communities from these damaging health consequences. That’s why the WELL Community Standard Framework awards communities that establish a strategy for issuing warnings in the event of extreme heat or cold. 

A tenant experience app can help with extreme weather warnings 

A tenant communication platform can be used to disseminate information on safeguarding against the indoor and outdoor ramifications of extreme weather before, during, and after heatwaves and cold spells.

Chainels, for example, has various communication features - like newsfeed and direct messaging - that can aid property and community managers in issuing warnings that could mitigate the adverse effects of extreme weather. 

Food advertising

We all know the health risks involved with food advertising, especially high calorie foods that have been linked to increased risk of diabetes and obesity.

Limiting the visibility of advertisements for unhealthy foods and promoting nutrition-focused marketing can encourage individuals to make healthier food choices.

For community managers dealing with food advertising within their properties, the WELL Community Standard scores points by implementing strategies that mitigate the negative impacts of food advertising, and giving extra visibility to businesses that promote healthy food options to tenants.

A tenant experience app can help promote healthier food options

Tenant communication platforms can play a valuable role in this effort. For example, Chainels’ Booking module allows landlords and property managers to reserve advertising space, allowing some measure of control over which foods get advertised, and to whom.

With this level of oversight, community managers can prioritise the advertising of healthier food options, especially to children.

Moreover, Chainels provides various means for users to share food menus, particularly for staff catering, creating additional opportunities to highlight healthier food choices.

Lastly, the platform facilitates the setup of discounts for tenants to use at restaurants offering healthier options, further encouraging a shift towards healthier eating habits in the community.

WELL V2 Building Standard

The WELL Building Standard is a framework for designing and operating buildings with a focus on promoting the health and well-being of the people who occupy them.

It is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being.

In this section, we’ll discuss how digital tech can help meet WELL’s guidelines in two specific areas: thermal performance and occupancy surveys. 

Thermal performance

Maintaining comfortable thermal conditions is crucial for both residential and working environments. Studies have shown a link between thermal discomfort and increased levels of anxiety and stress.

Thermal discomfort not only impacts mental well-being and productivity but can also lead to various health issues, such as respiratory illnesses and lowered resistance to airborne diseases.

Furthermore, inadequately insulated buildings that allow excessive heat or cold to penetrate can result in increased energy consumption for heating or cooling, leading to higher operational costs and an unfavourable ecological footprint.

For these reasons, The WELL Building Standard offers points to property owners who take action to prevent the adverse effect of extreme temperatures on both human health and the environment.

A tenant communication app can help you qualitatively measure thermal discomfort

A tenant experience app can facilitate the distribution of tenant surveys to assess tenant satisfaction with the thermal comfort in your building. WELL requires that two surveys be conducted each year, one during the summer and one during the winter.

To earn points, a majority of your tenants must express satisfaction with the thermal conditions in your buildings. For instance, if 80 out of 100 respondents report being content, you will receive 2 points. If 90 out of 100 respondents express satisfaction, you will receive 3 points.

However, the number of survey respondents required depends on the size of the building. For small buildings with fewer than 20 occupants, at least 80% of them must respond. In medium-sized buildings with 20 to 45 occupants, a minimum of 15 respondents is required. In larger buildings with more than 45 occupants, 35% of them must participate in the survey to earn points.

Health and wellbeing promotion 

Health literacy can present challenges for certain individuals, influenced by factors such as age, financial constraints, language barriers, and past experiences. When people struggle with health literacy, it often results in reduced utilisation of preventive care and increased health problems.

To address these issues, the informative materials and communication can play a vital role in promoting health literacy and improving health outcomes.

The use of various approaches, including guides and workshops, can significantly enhance health literacy. Such strategies not only contribute to individuals' improved health but also encourage greater utilisation of health services.

A tenant experience app provides the tools to promote health and wellbeing

With a tenant experience app, you can provide avenues to share health and well-being advice or organise workshops specifically focused on enhancing health literacy and overall well-being.

For example, the Chainels booking module grant tenants access to amenities that contribute to their well-being, such as gyms or psychological support services.

Occupant survey 

Occupant surveys are an effective means to improve the overall experience of a building. Such surveys ask about health, well-being, or how they feel about the building.

Buildings can be very different, and what works for one might not work for another. People who make decisions about the building might have different views from those who use it on a daily basis. 

Landlords and property managers can use surveys to ask people what they think about the building, its policies, and how it affects their health and well-being. This helps understand how people feel and what can be improved.

With a tenant experience app, you can send out occupant surveys with ease. 

With Chainels, for example you can create a survey using the app’s messaging feature. You can choose what kind of questions to ask, whether they’re multiple choice, open questions, file upload requests or simply a star rating. This way, you can draw a broad variety of information from tenants.

 

You can also select which tenants to send the survey to. Our smart targeting system is a great feature if you’re managing mixed-use buildings. For example, you can gauge the satisfaction of your office tenants separately from that of your retail tenants, since the experience may vary slightly and require different questions.

BREEAM In-Use

BREEAM In-Use is an assessment and certification scheme for existing buildings, designed to evaluate and enhance their sustainability and environmental performance.

It assesses factors like energy, water, waste, transportation, and management practices, as well as indoor environmental quality and materials used. Building owners and managers use the assessment results to make improvements, and BREEAM In-Use offers three certification levels to reflect sustainability performance (pass, good and very good).

This system helps reduce the environmental impact and increase the efficiency of existing buildings, promoting sustainability and responsible management of resources.

In this section, we’ll discuss how digital tech can help meet BREEAM’s guidelines in three specific areas: maintenance policies and procedures and energy consumption reporting.

Maintenance policies and procedures 

BREEAM scores points to implement and encourage high-standard building maintenance practices.

Good maintenance practices ensure the long-term value of an asset through proactive policies and procedures. It also helps to bring down your operating costs, positively impacting your net operating income. 

Finances aside, prompt response and quick resolution of maintenance and repairs keeps tenants happy and helps prevent churn. 

A tenant experience app can streamline your maintenance policies and procedures. 

A tenant experience app can help you achieve this by making important maintenance policy documents available on the platform to be accessed by stakeholders. 

Moreover, an in-app ticketing system helps you introduce maintenance best practices by facilitating easy reporting and tracking of work orders - from minor damages to critical plumbing issues, leaks, or power outages.



The module provides a clear dashboard for ongoing work orders, along with their category, reporter, location and assigned stakeholder and creation date. Users can also track the status of these orders from ‘open’, to ‘in progress’, to ‘resolved’.

You can also use Chainels’s Statistics module to track KPIS like number of issues resolved or pending, average first response time and average resolution time. Use these KPIs to identify gaps in your services and optimise for better tenant experience and sustainability credentials.  

Energy consumption reporting

Measuring energy usage, as well as increasing awareness amongst managers and users, is essential to reduce consumption and associated carbon emissions.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), implementing energy efficiency measures based on accurate energy consumption data could reduce global energy demand by up to 15% by 2040.

This is why BREEAM In-Use awards points to operators who collect energy consumption data within their assets and compare it against asset targets. 

A tenant experience app can help you track energy consumption 

Chainels integrates with a range of energy reporting software, like Rhino, Blue Module and iqbi, to help you collect ESG data and, through an API, send that data to Chainels in the form of snackable insights that your tenants can act upon.




GRESB 

GRESB (Global ESG Benchmark for Real Assets) is an organisation that assesses and benchmarks the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance of real estate companies, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and infrastructure funds. 

It conducts an annual assessment to help investors evaluate and compare the sustainability practices of real assets, providing transparency, standardisation, and rankings to encourage ESG integration into investment decisions. 

In this section, we’ll discuss how digital tech can help meet GRESB’s guidelines in three specific areas: stakeholder management and community engagement programs.

Employee/tenant health and wellbeing measures 

GRESB scores are determined by how well property operators address health and wellbeing aspects within their properties.

A tenant experience app can be used to share and promote health related content

For example, you can utilise an apps newsfeed to share health-related advice and organise workshops focused on health literacy and wellbeing. Moreover, an app can facilitate tenants' access to amenities that enhance their wellbeing, such as gyms or psychological support services.

It also enables you to conduct surveys on health and wellness to gain insights into tenant needs and use the feedback to tailor your responses accordingly.

Community engagement program

GRESB also recognises landlords for their community engagement efforts, which encompass effective communication, interaction, and relationship-building among tenants, landlords, and community managers.

To earn points in this area, you can implement initiatives related to community health and wellbeing, establish efficient communication processes to address community concerns, and contribute to employment opportunities within local communities.

A tenant experience app keeps tenants engaged 

One way to do this is through effective communication. An app like Chainels provides communication channels like Chat, enabling tenants to directly communicate concerns or complaints with managers. Managers can also use these channels to share information about topics such as energy efficiency, and local job placements

Kickstart your ESG strategy

In conclusion, as the importance of ESG frameworks continues to grow in the real estate industry, leveraging digital tools like tenant experience apps becomes increasingly vital. These apps not only help property managers meet stringent ESG criteria but also enhance overall operational efficiency, tenant satisfaction, and community engagement.

By adopting such technology, you can significantly improve your sustainability practices, foster a healthier and more connected community, and ensure transparency and accountability in governance. Embracing these innovations positions your property to thrive in a market that increasingly values and rewards sustainable and responsible management practices.

 

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