Canadian Commercial Real Estate: Company policies fall short on responsible contracting and procurement

Several Canadian commercial real estate companies and major commercial tenants have improved contracting and procurement policies to address poor employment practices, but most do not go far enough, according to a new report.

The second annual Cleaning Up report released by the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) evaluates commercial real estate companies and major office property tenants on the degree to which they have incorporated labour considerations into contracting and procurement policies and procedures.

“Ensuring fair treatment of workers who clean, maintain and provide security at commercial properties in Canada remains a tough supply chain challenge for property management companies and major tenants” says Shannon Rohan, SHARE’s Director of Responsible Investment and author of the report. This year we see incremental improvements in the quality of company contracting and procurement polices that address precarious employment
in property service supply chains. Despite notable efforts, however, the majority continue to fall short in explicitly outlining labour standard expectations to contractors and service providers.”

Morguard Corporation once again scored the highest among the seven commercial real estate companies and five commercial property tenants that were evaluated. The most improved companies were Oxford Properties Group and Brookfield Properties Corporation, moving from 9th and 12th place consecutively in 2011 to 2nd and 4th place this year. The Royal Bank of Canada was once again the top rated commercial property tenant in 2012, placing 5th overall.

Improvements were observed in the incorporation of labour standard expectations into contract tendering and procurement processes. Additionally, close to 85 per cent of the companies had enforcement mechanisms in place if contractors were found to be in violation of corporate policies including labour standard expectations.

“We are pleased to see that companies are making improvements to their policies and procedures to address precarious employment in their property service supply chains” notes Christine Nunez, Acting Executive Director of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation, which supported the production of the report.

“As both an investor in real estate assets and a Foundation committed to social and economic justice, we recognize that strong corporate policies that address precarious employment practices will help to improve working conditions for property service workers while also ensuring that commercial real estate properties deliver the highest quality property management and tenant services.”

SHARE is a Canadian leader in responsible investment services, research and education for institutional investors.
The Full Report and an Executive Summary are available for download at:


Shannon Rohan, Director, Responsible Investment, SHARE
T: +1.206.701.6656 | E:


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