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Several years ago, CoreNet Global gathered together a number of senior European consultants and corporate real estate executives to identify the forces that would shape the property world over the coming decade. It wasn’t long before terms like “sustainability” and the “environment” cropped up. It quickly became apparent that companies’ relationships with the environment and society in general were very real business issues being taken seriously by major multinationals—and that their real estate functions lay at the heart of their policies in these areas.

There are a variety of factors pushing sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) up the business agenda. Not the least of these is the globalization of business activity, which is leading companies to develop networks of professional relationships that span the world. While economically efficient, there are also several challenges. You may be confident that your manufacturing company does not directly employ child labor in producing its products, but are you ensuring that all your suppliers around the world adheres to the same high ethical standards? The financial impact of failing to do so can be significant.

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