Asian real estate sector falls shortApril 2009
Asian real estate companies are performing poorly on environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices, according to a new study.
The report on more than 50 businesses by Singapore-based Responsible Research finds little evidence of concerted efforts to tackle negative impacts on society, even though Asian buildings are, for instance, estimated to account for over seven per cent of the world’s total energy use. The use of non-renewable raw materials and excessive water usage are also important issues but get little attention from real estate businesses.
However, the report says four companies – Swire Pacific and MTR of Hong Kong, City Developments of Singapore and Siam Cement of Thailand – have emerged as leaders in the field, with each having 'sophisticated' management and reporting systems to monitor sectoral ESG issues.
Responsible Research concludes that over the long term there is 'great potential' for improving ESG standards in the sector, but the economic downturn means it is likely that its poor showing will continue for some time.
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