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

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Antwerp Management School, LAMMP Chair on Behavioral Insights in Real Estate, Boogkeers 5, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
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Tilburg Law School, Professor Cobbenhagenlaan 221, Tilburg University, 5037 DE Tilburg, The Netherlands
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Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chunjiang An
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3239; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063239
Received: 19 February 2021 / Revised: 9 March 2021 / Accepted: 10 March 2021 / Published: 15 March 2021
Investors are currently obliged to take environment, social, and governance (ESG) issues into consideration as part of their fiduciary duty. As such, it becomes increasingly important to identify sustainable investments that also hold financial value. 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 the 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: ESG; sustainable finance; smart real estate; sustainable real estate; user wellbeing; social sustainability; environmental sustainability ESG; sustainable finance; smart real estate; sustainable real estate; user wellbeing; social sustainability; environmental sustainability
MDPI and ACS Style

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. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063239

AMA Style

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(6):3239. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063239

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kempeneer, Shirley, Michaël Peeters, and Tine Compernolle. 2021. "Bringing the User Back in the Building: An Analysis of ESG in Real Estate and a Behavioral Framework to Guide Future Research" Sustainability 13, no. 6: 3239. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063239

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