Avison Young releases inaugural Global Citizenship report

Commercial real estate services firm's employees collaborate across company to develop comprehensive roadmap for firm's sustainability journey

TORONTO, June 15, 2015 /CNW/ - Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm, announced today it has released its first global citizenship report.

"Today's release of the Avison Young 2014 Global Citizenship Report confirms our intention to be held accountable for our ongoing commitment to corporate social responsibility, sustainability and philanthropy," comments Rose, who says the firm's Global Citizenship strategy, launched in 2014, was a natural outcome of the firm's culture and focus on creating long-term value, and was a logical next step as the company continues to grow.

"Our Global Citizenship strategy provides a framework for ensuring that our culture remains focused on excellence and integrity. The strategy is aimed at helping our firm, partners and clients identify, evaluate and act on environmental, social and economic issues and opportunities. It's a holistic strategy that aligns the diverse perspectives and priorities of employees, executives, clients and other important stakeholders."

Avison Young's 2014 Global Citizenship Report unveils five "pillars" on which the new strategy is based. The pillars include support for clients, corporate governance, operational excellence, communities and employee excellence. For each pillar, Avison Young has set a long-term goal for 2030 and metrics by which to measure progress.

Rose continues: "As a corporate citizen, we believe that we have a responsibility to give back to the communities in which we operate. We do so by providing financial support to community causes and by encouraging our employees to help out in community projects that are important to them. The Global Citizenship strategy will help us leverage and measure our community involvement across the company to amplify our impact, and help drive employee engagement and satisfaction."

Prior to launching the Global Citizenship strategy, Avison Young engaged in a comprehensive strategic development process and interviewed executives, employees, stakeholders and clients, and conducted external industry reviews of best-practice companies.

"For our company, Global Citizenship will strengthen our strategy, services and culture," says Rose. "By getting stronger in these areas, we will provide the services our clients need, reduce energy-related costs, and attract and retain the best people in the commercial real estate industry. In our view, global citizenship is not a program – it is our collaborative belief system and culture, and it is embedded within the fabric of who we are."

"From a client perspective, it should become very clear over time that sustainability is an integral part of our DNA and the way we do business – as opposed to a bolt-on initiative or service," states Avison Young Principal Rodney McDonald. "Our Global Citizenship strategy also demonstrates that we can help clients achieve their sustainability goals."

Avison Young achieved a new sustainability goal of its own in 2014 by launching its inaugural, company-wide Global dAY of Giving. Employees in 60 Avison Young offices took a break from their regular jobs and donated more than 3,500 hours of service to more than 45 charities around the globe. The Global dAY of Giving will be an annual event with the second one slated for October 2015.

In addition, the firm launched an employee wellness strategy in January 2015, a Diversity and Inclusion group in March 2015, and a Women's Network this month, with the aim of accelerating the advancement of women in the company. Moreover, Avison Young was named a recipient of Sonoco Products Company's esteemed global Supplier Diversity Award in 2014 for providing and identifying expert partners among real estate businesses owned and operated by women, African-Americans and other minorities.

To further encourage staff and clients to take public transit, the company installed a TransitScreen display in its global headquarters in Toronto in April 2015 to provide real-time schedule information for the various nearby transportation options. The company's global corporate headquarters is situated in a LEED Gold certified building, PwC Tower, near Toronto's Union Station – Canada's business transit hub.

Moreover, the company has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to sustainability by being named one of Canada's Best Managed Companies in each of the past four years, achieving the Gold Standard in 2014.

"Our sustainability efforts will grow organically and exponentially as we continue to expand in Canada, the U.S., Europe and around the globe," adds Rose. "We're thrilled with today's announcement and what we've accomplished to date regarding global citizenship – and look forward to doing much more in the future."

Over the past six years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to 66 offices and from 300 to more than 1,900 real estate professionals across Canada, the U.S. and in Europe.

Avison Young is the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its principals. Founded in 1978, the company comprises 1,900 real estate professionals in 66 offices, providing value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties.

For further information/comment/photos:

  • Sherry Quan, Principal, Global Director of Communications & Media Relations, Avison Young: 604.647.5098; cell: 604.726.0959
  • Mark Rose, Chair and CEO, Avison Young: 416.673.4028
  • Rodney McDonald, Principal, Avison Young: 416.673.4059


Avison Young was a winner of Canada's Best Managed Companies program in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and has demonstrated its commitment to the program and successfully reapplied for the designation as a Gold Standard winner in 2014. 

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SOURCE Avison Young Commercial Real Estate (BC)

For further information: Media Relations: Sherry Quan, 604.647.5098 or 604.726.0959, sherry.quan@avisonyoung.com


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