The August 2021 report by the World Built Environment Forum (WBEF), commissioned by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) presents the results of a survey of industry professionals on sustainability-related issues. Specifically, the report focuses on issues like uniform standards for carbon measurement; environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives; rent premiums for “green” buildings, and factors related to sustainable construction. The biggest take-home point, according to John Ramshaw, is “Two overarching and inseparable facts ring out clearly from this work: we are moving in the right direction, but we must move faster. Our success in decarbonizing the built environment will not guarantee the future of the planet; the sector simply cannot do this alone. But our failure, should it occur, will mark the failure of our entire species.” These are strong words, and are not to be taken lightly.

Inveniam’s Response

At Inveniam.io, we have a process that fits some of the items covered in the report – areas where we can be accretive.

Inveniam commutes trust in data and preserves data provenance. Unscrupulous management can abuse data or change data to fit the story they want to tell.

Inveniam.io improves credibility in the data provided to auditors. By focusing on data provenance, auditors will have much more confidence in their audit, tax, and value opinions.

Use of Inveniam.io to store data in an immutable, irrefutable way, as well as the monthly, quarterly, and annual valuation updates, will create an unmatched transparency. If the underlying data or valuations suddenly change, it will be obvious. Inveniam has built workflows and business rules that alert users to unexpected changes. These business rules help identify data entry errors, natural language processing (NLP) errors, and others potential indicators of fraud, all within industry standards of tolerance for each indicator.

Inveniam stores a comprehensive history and audit trail of every change made to the raw data, including date and time stamps. Any changes can be used to identify possible workflow issues, explicitly or implicitly.

For these reasons, Inveniam.io improves credibility in the data provided to auditors. By focusing on data provenance, auditors will have much more confidence in their audit, tax, and value opinions.

The Inveniam process can help firms realize their ESG goals. The WBEF report provides data to support the idea that the “perceived reputational boost attached to ESG activity also scores highly….” In particular, the largest percentage of respondents indicated that demand from clients, stakeholders, and customers is driving ESG investment, followed by respondents’ increased awareness of ESG risks and opportunities (likely related to ESG used by firms as a non-market strategy to differentiate themselves from competitors). Firms also use ESG initiatives (or investments) to enhance the degree to which stakeholders view them as a good corporate citizen. Interestingly, profit motives for investing in ESG initiatives rank lowest among the six possible categories in Figure 6 of the report.

How this manifests is that firms can burn their data into the payload of a block to document ESG data. Credentialed data, at the time of creation, supports an audit process and increases credibility of outcomes and metrics.

The Inveniam process supports the creation of tradable markets for carbon. Even though more than 70% of respondents said they currently do not measure operational carbon emissions across the life cycle of their projects, and approximately half of the respondents said they currently do not measure embodied carbon emissions from their projects, only 18% of respondents desire to have a global standard for measuring carbon. This signals an opportunity to create carbon markets using consistent metrics to measure carbon. Also, the report says that “appetites for standardized carbon measurement [are] highest (over 30%) in New Zealand, Philippines and Singapore.” By region, 19% of respondents in both the Americas and Europe desire to have a global standard for carbon measurement; the numbers for the respondents in the Asia Pacific region and Middle East and Africa are 18% and 13%, respectively. Blockchain can be used to “fingerprint” carbon and document corresponding carbon credits. Inveniam.io provides the underlying technology structure to support carbon markets.

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