David Broussard | ISG Germany

Creating resilient, sustainable communities – Interview with David Broussard

The topic of sustainability and especially ESG compliance in the real estate industry are currently more acute and contentious than ever. The European Taxonomy Regulation and the next stage of the Disclosure Regulation are compelling all stakeholders in the industry to act. David Broussard, Head of Sustainability International at ISG since March 2023 continues to drive this area of the business forward.
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Mr. Broussard, what brings you to ISG after nearly 20 years in the construction and real estate industry, including the sustainability management of construction projects, and implementing ESG plans in various companies, most recently as Director of Sustainability at PATRIZIA SE?

Broussard: As an architect and civil engineer, I have always seen a building more as a structure and less as a financial product. For the last 15 years, I have worked in all areas of the real estate value-added chain, and I am looking forward to putting theory into practice again. At ISG, I can be actively involved in the entire construction process, most of which involves the existing building stock, and this means I can positively influence the entire building life cycle with my work.

ISG published the second "Sustainable Buildings Monitor" at the beginning of the year. In the first one at the end of 2021, we presented an international study on CO2 emissions and energy consumption in commercial real estate. You were involved in the final stages of the second study. How do you assess the development and results of the monitor?

Broussard: That's right - I joined the company at a very exciting time, and I'm glad I was able to participate in the final stages of the survey. In the first Sustainable Buildings Monitor, ISG focused exclusively on the classic linear measures of the "E" in ESG, namely CO2 emissions and energy consumption. Of course, these indicators are still important, but we shouldn’t lose sight of "S" and "G," social sustainability and sustainable, ethical corporate governance. In the current research and insight report Sustainable Buildings Monitor: Redefining value, we have significantly incorporated these aspects alongside environmental sustainability. From my point of view, this is a major and enormously important step in the right direction. In doing so, ISG is thinking in terms of the future and considers all the contributing aspects of a property’s sustainable life cycle – from the start of construction through to operational management up to its demolition. We have developed three pillars for this holistic evaluation of real estate: The first pillar is chiefly environmental and social factors, the second encompasses population factors and employee landscapes, and the third pillar includes financial and commercial indicators. So, for instance, we are considering greenhouse gas emissions, the use of renewable energies as well as average commuting times by bicycle, and averages related to lifestyle satisfaction, education levels, productivity per employee, or differing regional costs for materials and salaries. We have applied this evaluation framework to the UK as an example. The results reveal numerous development potentials that promote constructive discussions between project developers, property owners, local businesses and local authorities – and ideally contribute to the emergence of resilient and sustainable communities.

Playing a part in generating resilient, sustainable communities. Is that also your primary goal in your role as Head of Sustainability International at ISG?

Broussard: In my view, this ambition should be shared by every stakeholder and decision maker, particularly in the construction and real estate sector. The construction industry and building operations cause the most CO2 emissions globally, along with industry and transport. Making building operations more energy efficient and fully applying the principles of the circular economy in construction is my primary goal at ISG. 

Sustainability | ISG

ISG’s latest study “Sustainable Buildings Monitor: Redefining value”

Why should we establish a new, purpose-driven framework to measure the true value of property? 

ISG’s Sustainable Buildings Monitor looks to create a new framework to identify untapped areas of development opportunity.


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