The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday, Dec. 1, edition that there is an industry-wide strategy to press ahead with sustainability investments in commercial real estate despite COVID-19 setbacks. The Globe's guest columnist Jennifer Lewington writes that
PwC Canada consultant Frank Magliocco says there is a "growing focus on environmental, social and governance factors" by commercial real estate investors and operators. In 2017, Manulife Investment Management announced a five-year target for its global real estate portfolio to use 10 per cent less energy, 7.5 per cent less water and divert 65 per cent of waste from landfill. Manulife assistant vice-president Regan Smith says with sustainability already embedded in management practices, COVID-19 only serves as "an accelerator." The response to climate change and COVID-19, she argues, requires a commitment to science and positive tactics, not fear, to engage tenants and the public.
Two years ago, Manulife collaborated with a non-profit to manage urban gardens on the rooftops of half a dozen Manulife-managed offices in Montreal and renewed the project despite the pandemic. This summer's harvest yielded 1,800 pounds of fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables.
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