Impact is Our Purpose, Real Estate is Our Tool
A note from our President & CEO, Mazyar Mortazavi:
Positively impacting people’s lives has always been at the heart of what we do here at TAS – it’s embedded in our DNA and in our approach to life. As new immigrants to Canada 40 years ago, my parents founded TAS because they saw custom home building as a powerful tool that could help families thrive. Our toolkit and impact ambitions have evolved significantly since those early days.
We started building mixed-use condominiums in the early 2000’s and we experienced a serious setback during the financial crisis of 2008. I learned some hard lessons about over-leveraging in the pursuit of profit, and it forced me to reflect on the company’s purpose. When I set out to rebuild TAS, I was determined to create a new and different kind of development company – one that sets a new standard for how business can drive profit as well as positive outcomes for people and the planet.
And so, for the last few decades, building on our roots as a people-focused company, we’ve been testing, trying and innovating for impact. For TAS in 2021, real estate is our tool, not our purpose. And that’s why we describe TAS as an unconventional impact company. We promote connected neighbourhoods and caring, committed communities. We believe that profit is foundational, but not the only goal. We measure success in our ability to push the boundaries of innovation to better serve the people of today and future generations.
On behalf of the entire TAS team, I am thrilled to introduce this impact framework which marks a major step forward in our long-standing commitment to support society and the environment through our work.
The framework is the result of decades of deep engagement with the communities we serve, a healthy dose of learning-by-doing, and an in-depth evaluation project over the past six months to review the best available impact methodologies and practices. Our new framework formalizes our approach to impact through an ambitious set of objectives – including environmental, social and governance factors – and charts a path forward for how we’ll track our progress over the coming years and decades.
We have selected the Future-Fit Business Benchmark to strategically anchor our approach. In our view, it is the most comprehensive and leading-edge methodology out there. Grounded in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Future-Fit provides a roadmap to:
- Comprehensively assess and eliminate any and all negative externalities created by our work; and
- Focus our pursuit to positively impact people and the planet by tackling climate change, broadening affordability and equity, and building social capital.
To demonstrate our unwavering commitment to creating a society that can flourish in the 21st century, we are the first real estate platform in the world to declare ourselves a Future-Fit Pioneer. I’m proud that we’ve taken this bold leap, which expands our long-standing ambition to positively disrupt and lead a systems-change towards purpose within our industry.
It is critically important to highlight that none of this can be done alone. We all need to work together – across public and private sectors – to ensure a vibrant and resilient shared future. Our TAS team will continue collaborating with a wide range of partners to deliver and scale our impact, and we hope you’ll join us and take part in this collective journey. If you have any questions, suggestions or a great partnership idea, please get in touch – we look forward to connecting.
The impact framework we’re releasing today is a statement of intent. It sets out our strategy, shares our ambitious long-term objectives and highlights the initial actions we’re taking to achieve these targets. We’ve embedding the framework in our management systems and will publish a detailed metrics-based progress report annually starting in mid-2022. We are committed to showcasing our work so that others can learn from our successes and failures as we make our way on our journey. And so, moving forward, when we research a new building material, find a new way to underwrite for impact, develop a new commercial equity sharing model, or explore a new policy idea – you’re going to hear about it. We will act as an open-source innovator in pursuit of positive impact.
We hope that you’ll find this framework as exciting as we do, and that it will spark new ideas around how you, your colleagues and your partners can make a lasting positive impact that we can all celebrate.
Let’s create that together. Download our Impact Framework HERE .