How Your Ethics Can Give You a Real Edge; PROPERTY VALUES after Years of Preaching on Corporate Social Responsibility, the Deeper Influence of Ethics Is about to Take Centre Stage in the Business Property Sector. If Developers Don't Buy in, Says Ian McPhillips, Partner at Birmingham-Based Property Consultants Curry & Partners, They Will Lose Out
Byline: Ian McPhillips
Mention the word ethics to most property people and they will assume that you are talking about a county east of London - and that you have a lisp.
Seriously though, ignorance of the importance of ethics in our sector is a far too common occurrence, particularly when ethics' closest cousin, corporate social responsibility, is becoming so prominent.
Attitudes are about to change, however, with the news that an EU directive is due to come into force at the end of this year, citing that social and environmental issues can be given consideration in public procurement projects.
The impact of this legislation on the property sector could be as deep as it is widespread.
You only have to look at the actions of two of the UK's largest developers, British Land and Land Securities, to see the effect that is likely to ripple down the chain.
Both of these entities are taking part in a working group looking at ethical procurement and its impact on business operations and community relations.
Changes to working practices are being made which take account of existing and potential ethics-based demands from the marketplace.
Large clients, such as the government, and sizeable institutional investors are already passing on their ethical requirements to developers.
Many are starting to study the carbon footprint that their properties will leave behind and are looking careful at the source and construction of building materials.
There are demands that timber is from sustainable sources, that energy usage is minimised both in the building of the property and in its subsequent maintenance, that recycled products are used wherever possible, and that materials are produced by a country which does not exploit its workers or break acceptable carbon limits in its transportation to the building site. …