Commercial property industry driving positive environmental change?

Reading a recent Property Week article raised a few relevant points the team and I have been working through and I thought I would share…

67893399_744847579295764_2854282153816361373_n.jpg_ebm1cq Lockdown lessons: A new age of environmental focus for commercial property?

In this current state of flux, as a business owner, my immediate focus is on my clients and what impact the global crisis will have on them.

As we begin to emerge from lockdown I, along with my team, are trying hard to understand what the true impact is today, and will be tomorrow so that we can adjust our business model, team, resources, skills and services to reflect the needs of the market. 

We have been leading innovation in the photography and video commercial property space for over 30 years, so we have seen our fair share of change and have adapted accordingly, however nothing quite like this.

Unfortunately, if we are to believe all of the negative hype, it feels as though the foundations of the commercial property market may currently be built on shifting sands. With the doom-mongers reporting the negative economic impact and diminishing returns for investors, you would be forgiven for thinking the end is nigh. 

However, speaking regularly with clients and friends I understand that the market is thankfully more resilient than the media report. There are also a lot of positive stories, specifically, In this article, the focus was on the immediate impact of climate change, technology, smarter ways of working and that COVID can be a catalyst for positive change.

Key takeaways:

  • Positively there is 6% less energy consumption and an 8% fall in global co2 emission predicted this year
  • With the government bankrolling many sectors there will be an underlying mandate to support the efforts towards net-zero carbon emission target
  • Greater focus on firms CSR and legal climate obligations impacting wider urban planning and building design 
  • Technology catalyst for change. Is this now the death of the commute? The current situation has been the stimulus for both big and small businesses to embrace technology and modern ways of working. Reports suggest remote working has lead to improved collaboration and faster decision-making cross strategy and planning
  • An opportunity to reset. Property firms are focusing on improving the carbon footprint of their portfolios looking at the worst-performing assets to build a roadmap for environmentally friendly improvements post lockdown 

So what have I learnt from this week’s environmental focus for the commercial property sector, and more importantly what is the impact for my customers and my business?

  • The environment needs to be high on everyone’s agenda, as a business, and individually. Within the commercial space, this will play a greater role in the commercial success of projects and portfolios as well and the wider impact on the environment and local society.
    For HLP we are looking at ways we can reduce our carbon emissions to support the environmental impact of the services we deliver. We have invested in Hybrid Cars since 2014, we are reviewing what we can do with our Vans and are keeping an eye on developments in the aviation sector. We will also be promoting our electric and alternative energy solutions for delivering high-end imagery.
  • Technology: As more and more people are used to Zoom and Facetime.  We will be looking to manage more video client meetings to reduce the environmental impact of travel, reduce costs and to speed up projects for our clients.
  • New ways of working. During the lockdown, our team already use video conference meetings to plan and implement the working week however we will be looking to continue to embrace flexible working to reduce travel and support the team’s wellbeing into the future.
  • Improving portfolio services for developers, owners, agents and investors. We are launching a unique service which supports the lifecycle of commercial property developments. Providing frequent image updates across the year to support asset managers as their projects and landscapes evolve


I understand climate isn’t on everyone’s must-read topic today, however at a time when we all need to reflect, having the ability to adapt is critical for a business to remain agile, consumer-focused and competitive.

Interested to hear your views, reach out to me directly.


MD, High Level Photography


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