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Is Sustainable Property Management Manila's Real Estate Future?

Date: December 14, 2023

In recent times, sustainability has become a buzzword across industries, and the property management sector in Manila is no exception. However, sustainability, in the realm of real estate, is not solely about environmental conservation; it extends its influence to social and economic aspects. Sustainable property management involves implementing green building practices during a building's operational and maintenance phases, considering the broader impacts on the environment, society, and the economy. The goal is to strike a harmonious balance between economic development and the preservation of environmental and social resources.

Why Sustainability Matters: A Triad Approach

  • Sustainable property management gains significance as building operations contribute significantly to global carbon dioxide emissions. In 2019, building operations accounted for 28% of global CO2 emissions related to energy, marking a historic high (United Nations Environment Programme, 2020). Notably, residential and non-residential buildings represent the largest single industry user of energy and emitter of CO2. Addressing these environmental concerns not only reduces negative externalities but also brings positive social and economic benefits. As the three sustainability spheres—environmental, social, and economic—intersect, sustainable property management demonstrates the interconnectedness of these domains. For instance, efforts to decrease carbon dioxide emissions can simultaneously lower energy and water costs while providing healthier indoor environments. While the primary focus is on ecological sustainability, economic and social aspects cannot be overlooked, given their interdependence.

The Role of Technology: Smart Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

  • Technology plays a pivotal role in advancing sustainable property management. Tools such as ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, LEED, and BREEAM facilitate benchmarking against similar properties, identifying areas for improvement. Smart buildings, enabled by technological advancements, utilize real-time sensors to link building systems, enhancing efficiency and reducing operational costs. These innovations not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also improve overall building performance.

Challenges on the Horizon: Addressing Skepticism and Overcoming Barriers

  • Despite significant progress in adopting sustainable practices, barriers persist. Some individuals remain skeptical of human-induced climate change, dismissing sustainable property management as irrelevant. Building owners and managers may question consumer demand for sustainable features, leading to a lack of prioritization in business plans. Greenwashing—presenting a property as greener than it is—can further undermine genuine sustainability efforts.

Taking Action: Strategies for Successful Sustainable Property Management

  • Implementing sustainable property management requires a comprehensive approach. Allocating sufficient resources, fostering collaboration, providing training, and establishing green-friendly policies are crucial steps. Continuous tracking of progress using tools and metrics ensures accountability and allows for the identification of areas for improvement. Collecting feedback from stakeholders and sharing achievements with the industry contribute to a collective commitment to sustainable practices.

Sustainable property management is evolving to meet the increasing demand for sustainability from stakeholders. As technology advances, quantifiable data on the progress of sustainable initiatives becomes more accessible. However, barriers such as skepticism and greenwashing need to be addressed for sustained growth in sustainable building practices. In this evolving landscape, sustainable property management stands as a beacon, guiding the real estate industry toward a future where economic success coexists with environmental and social responsibility.




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