ESG monitoring and optimisation of our assets happen continually throughout their life. Foresight’s Investment and Asset Management teams and Environment and Sustainability Manager work closely with all operators to ensure the sites are being operated to the highest possible standard, with Health and Safety (H&S), environmental performance and regulatory adherence all being of paramount importance. The assets operate in accordance with their permits and planning permission, all of which require the highest standards of operation to be adhered to. As part of this, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Environment Agency (EA) (or local equivalents for non-UK based investments) and the local council are all entitled to visit an asset at any time.
The ESG monitoring processes begin with regular site visits, which are conducted by members of Foresight’s Asset Management team and frequently include Board representation too. These visits ensure the asset’s day-to-day running and ESG performance are as expected and simultaneously help to prepare the asset for the third party Environmental, Governance and H&S audits that Foresight contracts annually. The audits produce recommendations, which are subsequently assigned to designated responsible individuals, who are held accountable for ensuring the recommendation is actioned. Mercatus, an asset management software system used by Foresight, enables the tracking of all operational and financial KPIs as well as live tracking of ‘incidents’, including H&S, operational performance, ESG, insurance and contractual management. This is a cyclical process that supports continual optimisation of the asset across all areas, inclusive of ESG performance. Depending on the requirement, Mercatus can deliver either a high degree of granularity on individual assets or an aggregated snapshot of the portfolio’s performance as a whole.
All audit results, shortfalls and recommendations are included on the agenda of the asset’s board meetings with H&S constituting one of the first items for discussion in all cases.
Data is captured in a number of different areas. The data collected during the third party audits provide results concerning H&S performance and adherence to ESG related regulations. To develop targets, these are then compared against the industry standard. While Foresight’s assets generally outperform the industry standard, areas in which they do not are immediately focused on for improvement. Targets are set in order to ensure these improvements are made and designated individuals will be accountable for their delivery.
The KPIs used during pre-investment as part of the Sustainability Evaluation Criteria scoring system are re-calculated on an annual basis as a means of monitoring the ESG performance of an asset. Any decline in scores is reviewed and remedial measures implemented in order to bring the asset’s overall ESG performance above the minimum threshold and, at the very least, in line with the pre-investment scoring.
It is also worth noting that certain data is collected for aggregation purposes so as to be able to assess the Asset Portfolio’s overall ESG performance and enable concise reporting of this information to investors and regulators.