Is it data ethics? As Dan Hughes explores in this excellent report, as buildings start to “live”, underpinned by the growth and accumulation of data, the sector’s use of data will come under ever greater scrutiny. As Dan explains, the collection of data might be lawful, but is it ethical (the “should we” question)? With ESG ramping up the investment agenda, the question is one that the industry must surely grapple with. Reputations are at stake.

Personally, for someone who has followed the growth of the green agenda in real estate for a number of years, the interlinking between the “E” and “SG” is worthy of note. There is no doubt that data collection is fundamental to environmental progress in the sector. For example, data collection wording in leases is becoming increasingly common, with landlords looking ever more closely at the environmental performance of their buildings. However, the questions posed by Dan are relevant to this branch of data collection, just like any other. The three pillars of ESG, and the balance between them in the context of data use, requires careful thought.

For anyone in the sector, particularly building owners and property managers, the report is well worth a read…