Reporting the results of sustainability efforts internally and/or externally is a key step. Effective reporting can be a vehicle for transparency, encouraging dialog and further refining objectives of future sustainability efforts. (This may not apply to all small and mid-size owners, but the key components are important messages to emphasize in other less formal communications.

A formal Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR) is often used by larger portfolio owners to summarize and explain the implemented sustainability measures in the context of the entire portfolio.)

Consider using the following framework to help organize your Portfolio Sustainability Report.

Next: Provide a portfolio description >

Description of Portfolio

The beginning of the report should include a brief – yet thorough – description of the portfolio. This includes a description of the portfolio team, building sizes/locations and any other relevant information that gives a full picture of the portfolio.

Next: Include a message from your sustainability director >

Message from Sustainability Director

The message from the Sustainability Director should detail specific sustainability efforts. Include the Sustainability Director’s role and responsibilities in the message.

Next: Share your organization’s sustainability vision >

Organizational Sustainability Vision

The visions will explain to the reader what the organization hopes to accomplish by operating in a sustainable fashion. The vision also shows the direction behind the sustainability measures and that the organization is working toward a long-term goal.

Next: Explain sustainability measures >

Explanation of Sustainability Measures

Since the report will be written after the assessment process has been completed, outline the exact sustainability measures that were undertaken in this section. The measures should include the general area in which the measures were undertaken, such as a lighting retrofit or increasing HVAC efficiency.

Key Performance Indicators

Just as metrics and benchmarks were determined during the planning stage, the metrics for a successful program should be included here. The report should include:

  • Both the metrics and actual levels of success, to objectively communicate sustainability endeavors
  • Reductions in energy consumption, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and any other measured areas
  • Confirmation of the success of the sustainability measures by a third-party auditor to increase credibility

Next: Summarize savings >

Summary of Financial Savings

As a quantifiable measurement of success, this section should include how the sustainability program decreased portfolio operating costs.

Next: Communicate lessons learned >

Lessons Learned

An important part of any program is to take lessons from the process, reflect on them and determine how best to use that knowledge to move forward. Include this information in the Portfolio Sustainability Report to show that the organization constantly strives to learn and operate its sustainability program more efficiently and effectively.

Next: Determine what’s on the horizon >

Next Steps/Goals

Finally, include the next round of sustainability endeavors that will be undertaken by the organization. These goals should build upon existing accomplishments and seek to achieve greater improvements than the previous round.