Freeths Real Estate Law Blog – Better Late Than Never…
The real estate team at Freeths’ decade started with our annual conference, where we hosted a panel of several of our clients and since then I have been lucky to be involved in various other events in January including a Property Week forecast for 2020.
What is clear to me from these events (and our general experience as a national team advising on multiple deals across a variety of very diverse sectors), is that the ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate governance) agenda is swelling like a tidal mass.
Where once the economics of the bottom line drowned all other factors and where work was much more than a 9-5 commitment (and who did it, how and when was irrelevant) the tide has most definitely turned. We are all more conscious of the global impact of climate change whether it be through activist protestations (Greta v Donald) or seeing more and more of the horrific weather events that are becoming increasingly common. We are all more conscious of equality of opportunity and how the past has systemically enshrined a culture that fails to appreciate differences. We are all more conscious that wellbeing is more than just a ‘stiff upper lip’ and a case of ‘keep calm and carry on’. This awareness has, for me, largely been raised by the new talent coming into our organisations who are not so influenced by economics but have a huge social conscience. The question on all of these is what are we doing about it…
It has been refreshing to hear client panellists at our conference talking frankly about valuing wellbeing and to hear industry grandees saying positively that more must be done about social inclusion, gender equalisation in pay and treatment, sustainability and carbon reduction. This needs to be converted into action and the action needs to be converted into results. The Government is heading for carbon neutral by 2050 but shouldn’t we set a target to tackle all of these issues by then?
For anyone around in 1990 here we are now in 2020. It’s gone so fast. 2050 is just that again, just around the corner.
A little late but a New Year Resolution for us all…
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