Zooming in on the ‘S’ of ESG: A road map for social value in real estate

COCREATIF partnered with The Good Economy to co-lead research on social value for the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a global membership organisation for real estate and urban development professionals. The report, Zooming in on the ‘S’ of ESG: A road map for social value in real estate, was published in March 2021 and available for ULI members. It is designed to guide the industry on incorporating social value into corporate strategy, business practices and even investment theory.


Covid-19 is a wakeup call, and while the pandemic has brought major risks and challenges for the industry, it also opens up opportunities to rethink how to repurpose and connect real estate development and investment to local, place-based needs.” - Lisette van Doorn, ULI Europe CEO

A global survey and in-depth interviews with senior professionals identified key barriers in individual organisations and across the industry. The analysis highlighted the need to develop a shared and better understanding of how to define, create, measure and optimise social value across the real estate industry. To help organisations navigate existing frameworks and tools for social value definition and measurement, the report maps them according to different decision making stages in real estate investment and development. It concludes with a road map, calling for actions particularly in the following six areas:

  • Government led place-based vision and strategy

  • Corporate leadership

  • Transparency, accountability and data

  • Innovation

  • Education and training

  • Collaboration.


​"We hope this is the start of a journey that will enable companies to account for the contribution they already make to wider society and, more importantly, consider how this can be enhanced in the future.” - Sarah Forster, The Good Economy CEO and co-author of the report.

The research was funded by CBRE Global Investors, Credit Suisse, Estabona Management, Fore Partnership, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Jacobs and PLP Architecture.

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