The recent uptake in excitement across the property industry regarding social value, purpose-led business, corporate social responsibility, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) etc. can sometimes be met with a cloud of mystery. Multiple, or lack-there-off, of agreed industry definitions has enabled creative license in the interpretation of what this means and how it should be implemented.

In similar but sometimes separate discussions, clients and colleagues are reflecting on policy, strategy or actions that drive towards increased collaboration and integration across the public (and private) sectors in order to break down siloed service delivery and enable community-centred approaches.

When the two conversations collide, we see great examples of effective ways to address both challenges. One is that of NHS Property Services, highlighted in Collaboration in the NHS, by Alison Davies, who “worked with partners to repurpose temporary vacant space to support a food bank and guardianship schemes that provide affordable accommodation for key workers.” In Operose Health Roundtable’s it was shared how “different agencies are working together in [Norfolk] ‘health hubs’ to offer help to people regardless of whether they have initially contacted the NHS, the police or the council. This has led to a different approach to solving their problems.

The property sector can play a key role, not only to facilitate individual projects but take a holistic view across different sectors, portfolios, geographies or asset classes to identify and map potential collaboration opportunities that will have a positive impact on society and the local community. This would mean partners, clients, supply chain and competitors working collaboratively to generate ideas and explore the art of the possible and share market insight, data and information to identify the best possible solution for the greater good, whilst balancing the commercial drivers for each organisation.

In a market where corporate consciousness is the cake and collaboration the icing on top – are we brave enough tackle these challenges together?