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By: Alan Markoff

Measuring sustainability success

rows of solar panels on commercial building

In recent years, ESG — which stands for "environmental, social, and governance" — has become a critically important term in the financial services industry.

Companies or portfolios with high ESG scores are seen as more resilient long-term investments and investors are increasingly wanting to know the ESG scores of the companies they invest in — and the companies with which they do business.

The "E" in ESG looks at environmental factors such as carbon footprint, energy use and waste management, while the "S" in ESG looks at social issues like diversity, human rights and fair labour and trade practices. The "G" involves governance issues like compliance, anti-corruption and transparency — issues that are increasingly under scrutiny by foreign and domestic regulators.

Sustainability has always been a key tenet of Dart's strategy in Camana Bay, but the "E" part of the ESG equation goes beyond simply building sustainable buildings and implementing sustainable business practices because it requires measurable data. With measurable data, Dart can set ESG targets, identify any performance weaknesses and create sustainability reports for both its own benefit and that of tenants that need them.

With that in mind, Dart's Manager Innovations Paul Henry began a research project in 2020 looking at how Camana Bay could accurately measure and report on the "E" performance of every Camana Bay building. That project eventually led to "Measurabl," an internet-based ESG measuring platform for commercial real estate.

Measurabl can automate the collection of data on the usage of electricity, water, fuel and other utilities, and it allows companies to measure a building's ESG performance against approximately 55,000 other buildings — representing more than 11 billion square feet of commercial space — it monitors in 80 different countries.


In charge of implementing Measurabl in Camana Bay was Chip Ogilvie, Dart's director of property operations.

Although Measurabl can automate data collection in some jurisdictions, this feature is not available with the utility companies on Grand Cayman. Dart wanted a historical benchmark of data to show, among other things, improvements over the years as new sustainability initiatives were adopted. The process of manually entering past data is labour intensive and has taken time.

"We have entered four years of data into the system so far," said Ogilvie.

Even though more years of data need to be entered, Ogilvie said the reports have been useful.

"They allow us to understand the efficiency of our buildings and compare the buildings against each other."


One of the more surprising findings from Measurabl so far is that the Arts & Recreation Centre at Cayman International School is the most energy-efficient building in Camana Bay. The reasons for this include the high number of solar panels on its roof, the fact that it uses a chilled water cooling system and that programmable "intelligent" lighting is used in the gym.

"It's one of the most efficient gymnasiums in the world," Ogilvie said.

Measurabl also issues alerts if a usage pattern increases significantly, as it did for the Arts & Recreation Centre one month last year.

"We investigated and found out someone had reprogrammed the gym lights," Ogilvie said. "So Measurabl is also useful in that it enables us to spot and address anomalies like that."

Looking at the findings compared to Measurabl's nearly 55,000 other monitored buildings, Camana Bay fares well, measuring in the 55th percentile in energy and the 78th percentile in water.

One area where Camana Bay — and all other developments in the Cayman Islands — can improve on is in its carbon footprint, which has a direct correlation with the fact that Grand Cayman's primary energy source is a diesel-fuel burning power plant. Camana Bay's rating in the 42nd percentile will thus increase as the country moves toward its renewable energy goals as set out in the National Energy Policy.

Measurabl allows Dart to look at the ESG scores of Camana Bay as a whole, of individual buildings or, in most cases, of particular tenants. Several of Camana Bay's tenants have already requested the comprehensive reports, which would not have been easily compiled before the implementation of Measurabl.

Still, because Camana Bay is more than just a series of office buildings, Measurabl has some limitations in its usefulness as an energy management system.

"We're a complex site, with retail, restaurants, office, entertainment and a school and Measurabl isn't customised to meet our needs," Ogilvie said. "But we're making it work for us, for the time being."

While Dart staff continue to input historical data into Measurabl, current data continues to roll in.

"2022 will be our first year of full data for all of Camana Bay's buildings," Ogilvie said, noting that some other of Dart's developments — like Regatta Office Park, the Flagship Building and Island Plaza — are now also using Measurabl.

This article appears in the March 2022 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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