Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Bringing the User Back in the Building: An Analysis of ESG in Real Estate and a Framework to Guide Future Research

Version 1 : Received: 19 February 2021 / Approved: 23 February 2021 / Online: 23 February 2021 (14:11:23 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Kempeneer, S.; Peeters, M.; Compernolle, T. Bringing the User Back in the Building: An Analysis of ESG in Real Estate and a Behavioral Framework to Guide Future Research. Sustainability 2021, 13, 3239. Kempeneer, S.; Peeters, M.; Compernolle, T. Bringing the User Back in the Building: An Analysis of ESG in Real Estate and a Behavioral Framework to Guide Future Research. Sustainability 2021, 13, 3239.

Journal reference: Sustainability 2021, 13, 3239
DOI: 10.3390/su13063239

Abstract

Investors are currently obliged to take ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) issues into consideration as part of their fiduciary duty. As such, it becomes increasingly important to identify sustainable investments that hold financial value as well. A sector where this is especially underdeveloped is real estate. This has a lot to do with the obfuscated conceptualization of ESG. The article identifies key gaps in literature and practice, and provides a framework to further the understanding of how ESG factors can add societal and financial value in the real estate sector. A key premise of the article is that the user in the building is grossly overlooked. Drawing on insights from behavioral social science and environmental psychology, the paper explains the role of the user in improving buildings’ ESG, also taking into account the investment value. To conclude, the article makes the case that the transition to user-centered smart real estate is the solution to improving both the environmental (E) and social (S) sustainability of buildings, as well as their investment value. Therefore, practitioners and academics are encouraged to critically evaluate and contextualize the ESG framework they are using, as well as the extent to which users are considered and smart technology is employed.

Subject Areas

ESG; Sustainable Finance; Smart Real Estate; Sustainable Real Estate; User wellbeing; Social Sustainability; Environmental Sustainability

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