Health Promotion and Financial Investment: Sarah Clarke and David Palin from Mirvac
Continuous learning, transparency, and trust are helping Mirvac stand out in the ESG world
Mirvac has turned their new Sydney headquarters at 200 George Street into a living lab outfitted with sensors that collect building data on everything from vibrations to façade temperature. The space reflects the group’s passionate curiosity in sustainable, healthy buildings – and their desire to transform knowledge directly into action. We spoke to both Sarah Clarke, Group General Manager, Sustainability and Reputation and David Palin, Sustainability Manager who explain how continuous learning, transparency, and trust are helping them stand out as leaders in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.
Delos: What do you find most exciting about the current state of ESG metrics and reporting?
DP: I think what’s really exciting is the evolution. It doesn’t stand still. Every year we have different targets, different things that we’re working on. I think one of the things that really sums up Mirvac is that we’re passionately curious – that comes up over again and again.
A lot of the work that we’ve done with WELL certification so far has shown us that ‘we don’t know what we haven’t tested’ – so we set up the living lab. We’ve done some work with University of Sydney with indoor environmental quality sensors in our tenancy at our WELL Certified headquarters, and we’ve been sharing the portfolio with others in the industry. It’s been a real learning journey, and the quality data we’re collecting through the WELL Certification process helps with our ESG reporting.
SC: The re-balancing across the ESG is really interesting…we are looking now more at the social and governance side of sustainability. So I think that’s an important trend to watch. Along with the trend which we’ve all be hoping for, for a very long time, which is to see investor demand in responsible investment and for that strong signal to come from the community around which companies they will regard highly.
Delos: What key ESG-related questions or topics guide Mirvac’s approach to reporting?
DP: What is going to make it simple for our customers to recognize that yes, this is good environmental quality, this would be a more productive space for us, and Mirvac is more in tune with our community and social license to operate? What will be those relevant standards moving forward that make it easier for us to report and for customers to readily recognize?
SC: I think there is a linked issue there…around trust. And, in particular, what in some jurisdictions might be seen as diminishing levels of trust that people in the community – particularly young people and people of the postwar generation – have with governments and have with big companies. That momentum is taking us in a direction around responsible investment and creating both opportunities, but also obligations for the corporate sector to take a role which may have looked a lot more like the role of government in the past.
When there is a disengagement between citizens and their governments, when people might feel disenfranchised or left behind, it can potentially have a destabilizing effect on the operating environment. This presents both an opportunity and challenge for business to be rethinking its role as responsible citizens in the community and start thinking really deeply about who suffers most from their day-to-day business activities. Businesses should address what they can be doing on those subjects to not just meet obligations, but really go beyond those obligations in that bold eternally curious way so that we can start to build trust. If we, in business, are just meeting our obligations we won’t reach close formed, trusting relationships with stakeholders.
To learn more about the connection between ESG and health and well-being, read Delos’ latest industry brief Health, Well-being, and the Evolution of ESG.