Empowering change through visibility and sustainability

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Adzman (seated second from right) with the RISM team.

Adzman (seated second from right) with the RISM team.

RISM endeavours to achieve ESG and sustainability aspects in its activities

By Joseph Wong

This year marks a vital milestone for the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM) as the 63-year-old association grapples with the intricacies of environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects and strives to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an era when climate change has become an integral part of the property industry.

“ESG and sustainability have become extremely important aspects in the real estate industry. Property technology has evolved in property development and management from merely monitoring resource usage to actively improving energy efficiency and cost savings in building operations through the adoption of AI (artificial intelligence) and integration of sustainable practices,” said RISM president Adzman Shah Mohd Ariffin.

“The National Real Estate Convention (NREC) can provide the platform to share various best practices and experiences in management practices, both locally and globally. Awareness raised during the conference regarding market trends, innovative technology, regulatory compliance, tenant demands and cost-saving strategies can create long-term value for asset owners and investors,” he said.

This year’s NREC converges under the auspicious theme of Sustainable Property Sector, said Adzman, adding that the theme embodies a collective commitment to ensuring sustainability at every phase of the real estate and built environment lifecycle, from inception to decommissioning. 

As stewards of the built environment, industry professionals must adopt a holistic approach to sustainability, considering not only environmental impact but also social equity and economic viability.

The convention serves as a crucial platform to delve into vital topics such as sustainability in real estate, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles in managing real estate assets, emerging trends and the impact of technology on the industry. Participants will explore key strategies, innovations and best practices for fostering sustainability throughout the property sector.

One of the focal points of discussion will be green building design and energy efficiency. With the growing awareness of climate change, there is an increasing demand for environmentally friendly structures that minimise resource consumption and carbon footprint. 

By integrating sustainable design principles into real estate projects, professionals can significantly reduce environmental impact while also enhancing long-term cost-efficiency.

Responsible land use and community engagement will also take centre stage at NREC 2024. Sustainable development goes beyond constructing eco-friendly buildings; it involves mindful planning and engagement with local communities. 

Fostering stronger ties

Through inclusive practices and transparent communication, real estate professionals can foster stronger relationships with stakeholders and create developments that meet the needs of both present and future generations.

Moreover, the convention will explore the role of technology in advancing sustainability within the property sector. From smart building systems to data analytics for energy management, technological innovations offer promising solutions for optimising resource utilisation and enhancing operational efficiency. By harnessing the power of technology, real estate practitioners can unlock new opportunities for sustainability and resilience.

The guest of honour Finance Ministry's Valuation and Property Services Department director-general Abdul Razak Yusak entering the convention hall with the RISM team.

The guest of honour Finance Ministry's Valuation and Property Services Department director-general Abdul Razak Yusak entering the convention hall with the RISM team.

In the ever-evolving landscape of real estate, addressing these topics head-on is imperative for the continued growth and prosperity of the sector. Participants are encouraged to actively engage in discussions, share insights and explore innovative solutions that will shape the future of Malaysian real estate. Collaboration, innovation, and stewardship are the cornerstones of this journey towards a more sustainable property sector.

As participants embark on this collective journey, they are urged to embrace the spirit of collaboration and innovation. By working together, industry professionals can chart a course towards a more sustainable future—one that not only protects the planet but also enhances the well-being and prosperity of all. 

With expertise and collective knowledge present at NREC 2024, valuable insights will be gained, and meaningful connections will be forged, driving progress towards a more sustainable property sector.

“RISM has been gathering feedback from members from the four disciplines namely Geomatic and Land Surveying, Quantity Surveying, Property Surveying and Building Surveying in various engagements. The members have responded to the challenges that they face which involve challenges in addressing ESG and business sustainability,” said Adzman.

Backed by this valuable feedback from its members, RISM is actively working to develop new initiatives and programmes aimed at addressing the challenges related to ESG and business sustainability. RISM’s goal is to provide support, resources and guidance to its members and associates as they navigate these important issues and work towards more sustainable and responsible practices in their respective disciplines. RISM is committed to fostering a community that is informed, engaged and proactive in creating a more sustainable future for the industry as a whole, said Adzman.

New initiatives 

Going forward, RISM has already embarked on several initiatives to further the skills and expertise of the members. Appropriate dispute resolution, understanding ESG and technological advancements in the built environment are some of the areas in which RISM is expanding this year. With its visibility and sustainability targets, RISM also endeavours to achieve specific aspects of ESG in its activities.

To adapt to evolving technological trends and advancements in the real estate sector, RISM has been organising a series of knowledge and skills-sharing sessions. These sessions bring practitioners from beyond borders to various international events, namely the Asean Valuers Association (AVA) Congress, Pacific Association of Quantity Surveyors (PAQS), National Real Estate Convention (NREC) and the upcoming RISM International Surveyors Congress (ISC) 2024, especially focusing on technological trends and advancements. These sessions have enhanced and will continue to enhance members' exposure to the latest innovations in artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data and smart technology.

Elaborating further on the 26th RISM International Surveyors' Congress to be held on June 6 and 7, 2024, Adzman said the theme is Navigating the Future: Trends and Innovations of the Profession. The International event typically serves as a platform for surveyors and professionals from related fields to gather, exchange knowledge, discuss emerging trends and network. 

RISM's strategy on supporting the professional development of its members by not only holding major physical conferences but also organising hybrid short seminars and webinars to reach out to members who are based outstation, said Adzman. 

That is why the organisation also participates in aiding the government to streamline new legislative or policy changes through dialogues and the sharing of its expertise. As an example, Adzman pointed out that RISM has been advocating urban renewal efforts especially for the inner city areas in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru to promote urban regeneration.

Raising awareness

RISM has also been strategically focusing on engaging with the public and raising awareness about the significance of real estate issues through various initiatives. Beyond making public statements to the various media, RISM is leveraging multiple channels to amplify its message and reach a broader audience. RISM is investing in media campaigns across traditional and digital platforms, including partnering with reputable media partners like StarProperty to feature articles, interviews and opinion pieces highlighting key real estate issues and the role of RISM in addressing them. These campaigns aim to educate the public and stimulate conversations around pertinent topics.

In addition, RISM is actively engaging with communities through outreach programmes and initiatives. This involves collaborating with local authorities, community centres and grassroots organisations to deliver relevant information and resources directly to residents. By engaging with communities at the grassroots level, RISM can address specific concerns, build trust and demonstrate its commitment to serving the public interest.

Adzman, during his presidency, expressed his view that the one-year term as president of RISM is rather brief, providing limited time to achieve significant goals. His term is set to conclude in June 2024. However, he emphasises the importance of engaging particularly with the younger generation of members to inspire them as future leaders. 

In line with this vision, the RISM Young Achievers Award (YAA 2024), scheduled from May 3 to 5, 2024, aims to gather Form 4 and 5 students together in a single venue. During this event, various activities will be organised to provide these students with opportunities to showcase their leadership skills. 

The overarching goal is to foster a sense of inspiration and encouragement among the youth, nurturing them as potential future leaders within the real estate sector. Overall, RISM's approach to public engagement and awareness-raising in 2024 is multifaceted, proactive, and inclusive. By adopting a comprehensive strategy that encompasses media engagement, educational initiatives, community outreach, online campaigns and strategic partnerships, RISM aims to elevate the public discourse on real estate issues and drive positive change within the industry.

“The National Real Estate Convention (NREC) can provide the platform to share various best practices and experiences in management practices, both locally and globally,” said Adzman.

“The National Real Estate Convention (NREC) can provide the platform to share various best practices and experiences in management practices, both locally and globally,” said Adzman.


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