Jill Brosig

Jill Brosig

Managing Director & Chief Impact Officer at Harrison Street

Harrison Street
Jill Brosig, Managing Director & Chief Impact Officer at Harrison Street Reflects on her Career and her Passion for all Things Sustainability and ESG

Jill Brosig, Managing Director and Chief Impact Officer at Harrison Street is responsible for overseeing the measurement, management, reporting and enhancement of the firm’s global ESG efforts. In her role, she is well-positioned to drive a positive impact for those it serves, focusing on climate risk and resiliency, carbon emissions reduction and human health and wellness.  

“As a college intern, I had hands-on experience in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the property level, where I fixed mechanical systems that were regularly leaking four tonnes of Freon into the atmosphere,” she explains. “I then began my career as a researcher in alternative methods of energy creation, specifically fusion.

“I then became a co-lead of Harrison Street’s sustainability programme in 2018 and in January 2020 was honoured to be named the company’s first Chief Impact Officer. The journey has included working closely with the firm’s investors, sharing the firm’s ESG strategy and progress, and collectively setting the vision and execution amongst investors and the industry.”

Day to day, Brosig is inspired by accountability and collaboration. “At Harrison Street, we are focused on delivering real impact in the short term, whether that’s improving the day-to-day quality of life for our tenants or driving significant carbon reduction across our global portfolio,” she shares “Keeping our actions focused in the near term enables us to appreciate our progress and inspires us to continue to move forward, as well as ultimately align with the global target. 

“Similarly, from a social perspective, rather than sit back and wait for the market to develop the tools we need, we took accountability and developed, alongside the Center for Active Design, a commercially available healthy building scorecard for the senior living industry and are now working on our own methodology for ascribing social value to an asset which we hope the whole industry will make use of.”

The challenge of sustainability and ESG programme implementation

As an investment firm, Harrison Street has a responsibility to safeguard the value of its investments and maximise returns for its clients and their beneficiaries. Therefore, it is vital that its ESG strategy complements and does not constrain its investment strategy, but rather strives to enhance its products, and benefit its targeted demographics. 

“For this reason, our sustainable practices are developed hand in hand with our investment strategy and embedded across every department.” Explains Brosig. “We believe our focus on sustainability is fundamental to our commercial success, as our ESG initiatives over the past decade have aided in creating more attractive, higher performing properties.”  

Being an incredibly fluid and ever-changing movement, Brosig acknowledges that while positive and beneficial to all, sustainability and ESG initiatives aren’t without challenges. 

“There are so many directions one can go with a strategy,” she declares. “The biggest challenge is staying true to what is most meaningful to our stakeholders, ensuring we are focusing on the vital few not trivial many.  

“Sometimes we may need to wait before we can dig deeper into an initiative. For example, we have only scratched the surface of embodied carbon, we want to first complete the projects we have on hand before adding yet one more initiative to the pile.”

Despite being a challenging movement, Brosig concludes: “I and my peers are fortunate to be working in such a dynamic and exciting field and one in which we can truly see progress being made and knowing that we are making an impact.”

Read the full story HERE.

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