• Americas

What’s Next in Corporate Social Responsibility

By Maria D’Avanzo, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

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I’m proud to introduce Cushman & Wakefield’s third annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, which highlights our 2017 CSR efforts in environmental stewardship, diversity and inclusion, and governance directives.

We make a difference to employees and their families, to more clients and their businesses, to more communities in more countries and to more of the natural environment than ever. Positioning our people and our clients at the center of what’s next in real estate means being a good neighbor at the local level, and a responsible citizen on a global scale. For the first time, our CSR Report aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which are considered the blueprint for a more sustainable future. We’ve identified five areas where our firm and clients can have the greatest impact:

  • Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Aside from the numerous benefits CSR has on the environment and the people who live in it, we encourage our partners to join us in implementing CSR practices to rejuvenate business practices, energize their workforces and build an enduring brand reputation. Here’s how corporations who give back ultimately benefit from CSR efforts, and how we’ve grown from putting our values into practice.

Increased Innovation in the Workplace
Certifications or rating systems like WELL, LEED and ENERGY STAR® not only define sustainability best practices, they empower businesses to approach sustainability in innovative ways. It’s not just about earning the certificate, it’s about committing to a process that can transform business operations for the benefit of stakeholders and raise industry standards.

Cushman & Wakefield advanced several clients in the achievement of WELL certification and LEED certification, bringing overall results to more than 59 million square feet of LEED-certified space. Additionally, we helped a global FMCG client achieve a 20 percent reduction in operating costs through redesign of their U.S. headquarters, and improved our own greenhouse gas emissions efficiency by 7 percent per billion dollars of revenue.

An Engaged, Dynamic Workforce
Employees who feel fulfilled in their careers and accepted at work are motivated to perform at their best. According to McKinsey, companies ranking in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to financially outperform industry peers.

Through D&I efforts, Cushman & Wakefield created a more gender-equal workplace, with women representing 36% of management roles, and 42% of new hires being women.

Positive Brand Reputation and Customer Loyalty
According to a 2017 study conducted by CONE Communications (registration required), 63 percent of American consumers were looking to businesses to take the lead on social and environmental change, while 88 percent said they would be more loyal to a company that supported a social or environmental issue. Instilling CSR in our business will yield such short-term benefits, but can also build trust with shareholders, surrounding communities and employees.

Cushman & Wakefield was named U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2017 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year, and achieved ENERGY STAR® certification for 217 client buildings.

Read Cushman & Wakefield’s Corporate Social Responsibility report covering 2017 to learn how we’re fulfilling our mission of putting clients at the center of what’s next by leading sustainable real estate.

Maria D'Avanzo

As Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Maria D’Avanzo partners with executive management as well as regional and service line leadership to facilitate ethical business practices, resolve impediments to enhancing our clients’ success, and reinforce the firm’s reputation for integrity. She also further integrates compliance and ethics to be pervasive in our day-to-day operations. Maria works to enhance the highest standards of ethical conduct and institutional integrity by focusing on conflicts of interest, client/business selection and advisory support.

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