Property Biz Canada

Triovest implements innovative sustainability system


To effectively prioritize performance improvement initiatives, it is critical for companies to base decisions on fact. In 2014, Triovest identified an opportunity to improve understanding of property- and portfolio-level environmental and sustainability performance.

Refined Risk DataTriovest partnered with Refined Risk to develop and implement the system’s environmental and sustainability modules, which provide the Triovest team with valuable real-time dashboards and key reports to make informed and consistent business decisions.

A creative solution to a market need

Refined Risk is an integrated management and reporting system that consolidates portfolio information to reduce risk and create healthy, resilient buildings and workplaces. Triovest uses Refined Risk to manage environmental compliance and measure portfolio-wide energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste performance.

The system supports building-level target setting, action planning, progress measurement, and analysis to fulfill corporate and client expectations and meet legislative compliance. Its dashboards and reports allow Triovest’s managers to easily query data by client, region, building type and/or address.

Refined Risk’s unique questionnaire builder also allows users to produce an unlimited and highly flexible range of questionnaires. This functionality enables creative thinking, and improves Triovest’s ability to adapt to new standards and priorities.

Triovest used this feature to build a sustainability questionnaire that identifies green building certification potential (LEED EB:OM, BOMA BESt) and simultaneously supports Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) survey performance. In testing the system’s scoring outputs versus recent green building achievements, Triovest recreated comparable results for much less time and cost.

Linking systems and people to improve performance

While the software delivers new levels of performance management and accountability, the long-term goal is to engage building management, operation teams, and tenants to implement sustainable practices and achieve continuous improvement.

Opportunities abound: commercial buildings generate approximately 13% of Canada’s GHG emissions and consume 14% of end-use energy. The commercial building sector can make a substantial contribution towards long-term GHG emission-reduction targets. Furthermore, personal health and well-being are directly linked to the quality of the spaces we occupy.

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Mitigating impacts inherent to owning and managing real estate assets (e.g., indoor air quality, soil and groundwater contamination, etc.) and adapting to climate change, are critical environmental and community goals.

Triovest’s recent stakeholder interviews and Materiality Matrix confirm that environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) performance, alongside financial performance, is essential to meet growing expectations.

“We worked with Refined Risk to ensure that the system was attractive and user friendly.  Our focus was to ensure that we had a system that provides real-time user feedback so improvement or compliance measures could be implemented immediately at the building level” says Kyle Nicholls, Triovest’s Director of Environmental Health and Safety.

“Our practical, data-driven approach will ensure that our continuous improvement efforts are realized and that our successes can be measured.”

 “If we are to achieve energy performance improvements, or, by extension, sustainability at the broadest scale, we can’t ignore people,” says Philippe Bernier, Triovest’s Director of Sustainability. “People need to see a clear vision and purpose, understand how their role and actions influence the organization, and be able to use data-driven systems that reinforce desired behaviour. We are beginning to achieve this through Refined Risk and are excited for the path ahead.”

Delivering on an expanded definition of quality

Bernier believes that, regardless of industry, “All clients expect suppliers to provide quality goods and services. Growing client, tenant and societal expectations for sustainability performance simply reflect an expanded definition of ‘quality’. By integrating ESG into our corporate strategy and operations, Triovest is setting itself up to meet and exceed expectations.

The Refined Risk system is a key tool to help our team deliver on priority ESG issues, transparently report on progress, and create value for stakeholders.”

Reflecting on a successful collaboration

What began as an idea is now a fully functional system that can be used by any real estate asset and property manager to identify and mitigate environmental and sustainability risk and drive positive change.

Nicholls says, “Our collaboration with Refined Risk has been extremely positive: a client-developer success story. The final result is that Triovest now has a ‘world-class’ system that will help our team to make solid real estate management and investment decisions.”

This article was co-written by Triovest Realty Advisors sustainability director Philippe Bernier and Refined Risk chief operating officer Hugh Molyneux.

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Philippe Bernier

About the Author ()

‘Business-as-usual’ is not a viable long-term option to address the complex, interrelated challenges that we face today.To achieve enduring success and standing as a leader, it is critical for organizations to integrate environmental, social and governance considerations into strategy and operations alongside traditional financial measures. I am dedicated to helping peers, colleagues and clients stretch the typical boundaries of business thinking, and to discovering and implementing 'better' solutions that keep life-cycles in mind. I love to devise and implement strategies that reduce cost and risk, improve profitability and strengthen brand and reputation. I enjoy using numbers to tell the story and drive continuous improvement.
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