Sudhakar Murthy, Head – Specialist Services Group, Embassy Services Pvt Ltd (ESPL) lists the actions that make his organisation and its clients achieve ESG goals.
“While ESG is a collective pursuit, it is also subjective in its approach. Considering the organisation’s individual necessities and their implications is an important part of setting ESG targets. As a Real Estate Operations Management firm, our approach is devised on a 4-step strategy – Measure, Benchmark, Invest, Sustain.”
Measuring our GHG emissions is the first step to setting carbon reduction targets. With metering in place, monitoring data and conducting frequent audits, we can make investments in infrastructure that reduce emissions. At ESPL, we leverage technology tools that provide real time data on utilities consumptions, thus helping with data-centric decision making.
Looking only at the operational phase of Real Estate, a major contributor to emissions is diesel generators; they release noxious oxides of sulfur which are detrimental to air quality. By using electrostatic precipitators, we can trap these particles before they are released into the air, thereby reducing our emissions by a large amount.
Switching to renewable sources of energy is vital for efficient energy management. At Embassy, we built a 100MW solar power plant in Bellary, Karnataka. This provides power to all our commercial buildings and business parks in the region. Rooftop solar panels are another key area of investment.
In Industrial/Warehousing Parks, since they are horizontal developments, roofs have a vast flat surface that can host panels to support the energy demands of the facility. In places where this is not practical, we provide consultancy services to tie up with electricity distribution companies for purchase of renewable power.
As the population grows, so does waste generation. It is therefore essential to find more effective ways of handling waste. Organic waste is converted into compost through use of vermicompost plants and OWCs. The compost is then used as manure for landscape areas. For dry waste, while single-use plastics have been banned across our facilities, we try to upcycle as many materials as possible and partner with responsible waste handlers to manage excess waste in accordance with state norms. The goal is to maximise waste handling at source and prevent waste from going to landfills.
We follow the principles of 3R – reduce, reuse, recycle. We have installed sensor-based low discharge taps, disc filters, etc. as methods to reduce our water consumption. We further recycle the wastewater using latest technology STPs, and reuse it for flushing, gardening, ground recharge, and even for cooling towers. By doing these, we create zero-discharge facilities.
Health & Safety
While the provision of protective gear, safe management of equipment, and ensuring following of SOPs are important at the ground level, we are also pursuing a shift towards behavioural safety. In line with IMS requirements, we conduct awareness and training programmes that help people look at safety holistically as a matter of thought and action.
Learning & Development
L&D is a major pillar for a successful ESG pursuit. While the management can make investments and establish policies, the employees are the ones who drive them. Therefore, it is important that people are trained and skilled in accordance with ESG practices. This also needs to be realised across the supply chain; even vendors and suppliers need to pursue their business
DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) facilities to address the RPWD (Rights for People with Disabilities) and CSR are important facets of the ‘S’ in ESG. At Embassy, we have an NSDC certified FM skilling programme that provides employment opportunities to our CSR sponsored govt school students. In our Business Park portfolio, we have made large investments in facilities to enhance accessibility for people with disabilities.
We also pursue CSR through a collaborative approach with our ‘Corporate Connect’ programme. We have made a significant impact on our communities through this initiative, mostly in areas of women empowerment, child welfare, education, and infrastructure development.
The leadership/management plays the most important role in an organization’s pursuit of ESG. It takes policymaking, investments, audits and disclosures to achieve ESG goals genuinely. Also, when the leadership displays determination to follow a more sustainable way of business, its impact on the employees and society is phenomenal.
At ESPL, apart from achieving certifications that prove our compliance to global Best Practices (ISO, BSI, BSC, CII, etc.), we also assist our clients in acquiring ESG related certifications (LEED, WELL, IGBC, GRESB, BSC, etc.) that serve as a benchmark for the highest ethicalities in sustainable business management.