Benchmarking is a starting point for all businesses that want to reduce their carbon footprint but is a step often missed within the industry. All too often organisations embark on carbon saving programmes without fully understanding how their buildings operate and where savings can most effectively be made.
Benchmarking has numerous benefits in terms of allowing organisations to assess performance trends of buildings or portfolios over time, set targets and meet growing legislative and regulatory requirements, but most importantly it can identify where carbon saving action is most appropriate and where the greatest savings can be made.
Benchmarking can be a difficult and time consuming exercise. It is therefore necessary to start simply and build up complexity as understanding of our buildings and property portfolio grows – in essence, adopting a ‘graduated approach’.
The purpose of this Toolkit is twofold, to present the Better Buildings Partnership’s experience of sustainability benchmarking, and to propose some principles for best practice which may be of interest and assistance to others in the property sector who have a desire to improve the environmental performance of their buildings.
It is also hoped that this Toolkit encourages a debate on the methodology of benchmarking for sustainable property. Indeed, the BBP hopes to stimulate and encourage the market to define and agree a set of industry standards and common sustainability metrics for reporting and benchmarking. This would be of great benefit in helping us all measure and improve the environmental performance of our buildings.