4 min read

The ESG reporting matrix, HVAC as an Asset, and Quantifying Productivity [Nexus Newsletter #83]

"Thanks for Nexus and helping me elevate my game and gain a broader perspective on the issues we face and the solutions that may be coming, keep it up. I have listened to each podcast 4+ times in the last 6 months, some more than that."

Hey friends,

I obviously love getting emails like the one above. We all need to elevate our games and I love hearing how Nexus is helping.

Have we impacted your journey in a similar way? Hit reply!

I took a few days off last week, which has been a rarity in the past year! Of course, I couldn't manage to sit idle—here's me and my friend Josh on the highest peak in Colorado, Mt. Elbert:

Back to work: This week I'm gearing up for two things I want to make sure you know about:

☝️Cohort 3 is coming up!

It's a little over a month until registration opens for Cohort #3 of the Nexus Foundations course! If you're not already on the notification list, get the deets and sign up at the link below. Those on the list will get all the details in their inbox.

>> Sign up here to get notified about Cohort 3 <<

✌️Live Broadcast #2 is next week!

We're hosting a free live broadcast (featuring... yours truly) next Wednesday! A lot of organizations are setting net zero energy targets... how will they get there? Well... they will need to work their way through the energy management hierarchy of needs! I'll walk attendees through the framework and talk about all the nuances that are relevant to 2021.

>> Sign up here to get the invite right away <<

As usual, Nexus Pro members will have access to the recording... the rest of you will need to attend live!

Hope to see you there.


At the Nexus

Here’s everything we published this week:

🎧 #058: Darlene Pope on the history of smart buildings, the 3-30-300 rule, and where we're headed—Darlene is a smart building industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience in commercial real estate, technology, and smart building consulting.

We took a fascinating tour through Darlene's career path and she shared how the definition of a smart building has changed throughout that time and where it's headed in the future.

Signal vs. Noise

Only the best smart building resources we consumed this week…

The ESG Reporting Matrix—I've been trying to tease apart the differences between "Sustainability Management Platforms" (software for ESG reporting) and Energy Management Information Systems (EMIS) software.

I found this helpful guide from Goby to make sense of the reporting landscape and the value of having a dedicated platform for ESG.

"ESG reporting frameworks tend to focus on data and provide you with a score or rating at the end of the process. In contrast, guidance frameworks help you structure your ESG story and create the narrative around it. So reporting frameworks lean toward the data in the continuum and guidance frameworks lean toward the story."

I'll share my analysis on the differences and similarities between ESG reporting and EMIS in the live broadcast next week.


As Ohio Goes, So Goes The Nation- From Ohio to Iowa to Idaho, New University Partnerships Bolster Finances and Sustainability—Details on how budget-strapped US universities (Ohio State, Iowa, and now Idaho) are transferring ownership of critical central utility plant systems to third parties. Here's how it works in a nutshell:

  1. Third-party buys the central plant in exchange for guaranteed payments from the university over the life of the contract
  2. Third-party manages the plant or hires someone to do so
  3. Third-party invests in technology and efficiency upgrades and shares the savings with the university

This is an example of a trend I'm seeing more and more: physical systems turning into investable assets.


SkyWatch: A Platform for All of Earth ObservationPro member Tim Guiterman (and CEO of an API-first company) sent this to me as a relevant example of other industries that are going through similar transformations to ours. It's about how entire industries are held back when every company recreates the wheel and builds the same parts of the stack.

"This is what we call the Undifferentiated Heavy Lifting (“UHL”) of going to market as an (smart buildings) company. UHL can be defined as the expensive tasks a company undertakes in going to market that provide the company with no competitive advantage or differentiated value. Building a modern (smart buildings) company is riddled with UHL and it is precisely why companies who expect to be successful still have to raise massive amounts of capital just to get to market."

Great quote from the article: "Industries thrive when UHL is removed."


Health and the Productivity Factor in a Post-Pandemic WorldI like this article on BOMA's blog for two reasons. First, it succinctly describes the different potential workplace value propositions that smart building tech can help with. Second, I love that word "potential". As we teach in the Foundations course, the potential business case is rock solid. The real business case on the other hand... that takes some work.


That's all for this week! Thanks for reading. 👋