Whether it’s a shampoo bottle made from recycled materials or a new car model that requires less gasoline, corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts on the whole are gaining increased airtime as responsible environmental, social and governance policies, products and messaging are becoming an essential selling point to investors and consumers.
The commercial real estate industry is also taking up the ESG challenge. Beyond saving printer paper or turning off the office lights—smart environmental practices are improving every system within the building, even down to the humble plastic keycard. Substituting traditional plastic keycards with Cohesion’s Mobile Keycards allows users to bypass plastic keycards and gain touchless entry to the building and office suite using only their smartphone.
Something as seemingly small as substituting plastic keycards for mobile can be incredibly important and make a surprisingly big impact. It’s even more valuable once you realize it’s a pretty great ESG story, if you know how to talk about it. Here are four ways you can tell your ESG story related to Mobile Keycard use and gain full credit for your environmental consciousness.
1. Reduce Plastic Waste
A common eco-friendly practice in commercial real estate is reducing plastic. Yes, we should all be recycling our water bottles and reusing plastic bags, but the shift from plastic to digital keycards can actually make a huge environmental impact.
Most commercial buildings use RFID plastic keycards. A standard keycard is around 3 3/8″ by 2 1/8 and 24 mil to 30 mil thick, but don’t let those small dimensions fool you. Approximately 100 cards weigh two pounds and take up 450 years to decompose in landfills – that adds up! To add more perspective, 613,000 people worked in downtown Chicago in 2019. If every one of those workers used a digital mobile keycard, that would have meant 12,260 pounds of plastic saved.
2. Build Community
At least half of in-person workers say balancing responsibilities, potential COVID exposure at work, their commute and social interaction are sources of stress. Simply knowing that their office building is committed to reducing surface contact is an easy way to create a sense of community in your building. This makes people feel understood and happy to work in a progressive space.
Organizing events and promotional opportunities are great ways to bring people together – especially if it’s for a good cause. For example, easily make the shift from plastic to digital keycards by encouraging people to throw out their plastic badges at a fun communal event. This is a great incentive for employees to adopt the new technology and meet other people in the building, thus creating a friendly and connected environment.
3. Attract new ESG-focused corporate tenants
Many potential corporate tenants are focused on their own ESG initiatives and seeking new strategies to position themselves as a sustainable business. According to Forbes and Stanford Social Innovation Review, more than 90% of CEOs say that sustainability is fundamental for success. The more building management can do to support their tenant’s green initiatives, the more value the potential tenant companies will see in their spaces. Nearly 40% of Millennials say they have chosen a job because of a company’s sustainability efforts and approximately 65% of participants in our Voice of the Employee Survey said the environmental impact of their office building is important to them. This shows the importance of environmentally-friendly workplace environments to working professionals. This gravitation toward companies that have shared values and an interest in protecting the planet is becoming more influential. Positioning your building as ESG focused offers an easy way to enhance or amplify corporate tenants’ in-house EG initiatives simply by choosing your building.
Great! Now what?
You’ve invested in some awesome technology – it’s time to brag about it!
Now is the time for property owners and management teams to be proactive with sustainability initiatives that deserve to be recognized and promoted, no matter the industry. Spreading the word is easier than ever. Perhaps you showcase your environmental initiatives in a monthly newsletter that includes new data, or maybe post pictures on social media of your new touchless mobile keycard or indoor air quality sensors. These are simple ways to impress not only your tenants, but also the general public and give everyone a sense of wellbeing.
You can also include this awesome content on your website as many other companies are already promoting their sustainability initiatives. This can give your efforts greater exposure to the public and be shared with people who work in your building and appreciate the green experience.
Don’t be afraid to stand out!