Embracing Green Tenancy and ISO Standards for SDG 4.7 Knowledge Transfer
Author – Dr. Shirley MC Yeung
Becoming a green tenant with a sustainable development mindset and adherence to ESG principles entails understanding the relevant ISO standards pertaining to green tenancy and sustainable buildings, all of which are applicable in the context of Hong Kong.
These ISO standards include:
ISO 14001: Environmental Management Systems (EMS):
This standard offers comprehensive guidance to organizations aiming to adopt green practices in their tenancy, effectively managing their environmental impacts. It emphasizes the application of UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as UNSDG 13 on Climate Change and UNSDG 7 on Affordable/Clean Energy, within the realm of green buildings and tenancy.
ISO 50001: Energy Management Systems (EMS):
This standard facilitates a systematic approach for organizations to enhance their energy performance, enabling them to conserve energy and mitigate unnecessary energy costs as reflected in their monthly statements. However, achieving this necessitates instilling behavioral changes among employees and employing energy-saving devices to accurately measure monthly energy consumption.
ISO 37101: Sustainable Development in Communities (SDC):
This standard offers guidance on achieving sustainable communities in alignment with SDG #11’s vision for sustainable cities and infrastructure. The implementation of ISO 37101:2016 in sustainable communities ensures consistency with community development policies. It aims to enhance community resilience and implement smart strategies to improve environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. According to a survey conducted across the Asia Pacific region, up to 42% of occupiers and large developers have embraced green leases, signaling a potential shift from conventional leases to green leases by 2025 (source: JLL).
ISO 26000: Social Responsibility:
This standard provides guidance for organizations to become socially responsible entities, incorporating strategies that address the seven dimensions of corporate governance, human rights, staff welfare, customer relations, fair business practices, community development, and environmental stewardship.
The integration of green tenancy, SDG, ESG, and ISO-related standards underscores the importance of producing a report that emphasizes community engagement. Such a report can serve as a robust tool for both landlords and tenants to ensure compliance with regulations and enhance their brand image.