The success of all of our businesses depends on the sustainability not just of the planet and our current way of life but, also, of the country in which we all live and operate our businesses and, thus, on the sustainability of the economy of that country; The Property Merchant Group, therefore, sees the concept of sustainability as going far beyond conventional environmental concerns, to embrace economic, cultural, social and educational sustainability.
We have, therefore, taken real action in respect of social, educational and cultural sustainability as well as playing our part, as we all must, in securing economic sustainability, by doing our core job properly.
Environmental sustainability is the typical and often shallow interpretation of the word “sustainability” and, indeed, the very concept of sustainability, leading to the most enormous amount of “greenwash” “eco-bling” and “corporate social responsibility” statements, none of which achieve anything other than allowing the empty vessel which makes such noise to feel good and to ensure the destruction of yet more trees! Too often the big picture is ignored completely if, of course, it is even understood in the first place.
Thus, we see sustainability within the wider context of the world as a whole, but the reasons for taking environmental sustainability seriously are twofold:-
- Risk – quite simply the risk that the climate change scientists are right and, although we are not in a position to judge the science behind that risk, it certainly appears to be a very real risk and so one to which we must pay proper attention, and which we must all do our bit to mitigate.
- Customer demand – our customers, i.e. our occupiers, our partners, our long term investors and other stakeholders all want to save costs, reduce their carbon emissions and comply with legislation; we have to ensure the way in which we run our business and in which we provide our products and services, i.e. our buildings, meets that demand.
But we also have to play a role in economic sustainability for, without a viable economy, neither we nor our customers can have viable businesses. Our contribution to economic sustainability is, again, twofold:-
- By doing our job properly, providing high quality, well managed space for our occupier customers and good investment returns for our partners and long term investors.
- By ensuring the cultural, social and educational sustainability so vital to the long term health of the economy.