Sustainability & Risk Management: Graham Halsall’s Career Story
This series features the professional journeys of a wide range of professionals across Canada’s real estate development industry. Often, these stories highlight how rewarding careers in real estate development are the result of following your interests, fostering personal and professional networks, and keeping an open mind about what a career in real estate development might be.
How did your career (or interest) in real estate begin?
I come from a family that is a few generations deep in Canada’s building engineering and construction industry. So, I was interested in buildings from a young age. Mostly, I was interested in how and why buildings fall apart and how to build them better.
How has education or professional development influenced your career?
In university, I studied international development, which was a mix of economics, science, and geography. During these studies, I learned about the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility which is, essentially, the notion that investors can hold companies accountable to make the world a better place. I found that these principles aligned well with the direction of the real estate industry. So, since then, my career has focused on property and corporate-level innovation and optimization in the commercial real estate industry. Now, sustainability (and corporate social responsibility) is fundamental to successful business; regular, validated reporting is critical to attract and retain investors and bright, talented people.
Tell us about your current role.
My current role is Director, Sustainability & Risk Management, at ONE Properties. I’m responsible for the creation and implementation of ONE’s sustainability platform for assets under development and management. My responsibilities include establishing standard ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) policies and managing the impact on our stakeholders in collaboration with ONE’s leadership team. As well, my work involves risk management; I help identify and implement quality control protocols and promote risk and resilience measures for property development and management. Finally, my role supports strategic partnership initiatives and global real estate standardization initiatives that help keep ONE at the forefront of the global real estate industry.