Globalworth, a leading real estate developer and owner in Central and Eastern Europe, was keen on ensuring its locations were accessible to people with mobility limitations and other disabilities, to boost the sustainability of its portfolio.
Though our team initially did not have the capability to fulfill their request, we took an enterprising approach and arranged for one of our consultants to train as an accredited auditor. She did so through Access4you, a certification scheme that provides reliable and detailed accessibility data based on a standardized assessment. Its rating system evaluates a building’s accessibility for people with musculoskeletal or cognitive impairments, and sensory or audiovisual barriers. With 15% of the population identifying as having some form of disability (according to the World Health Organization), this information helps them plan ahead and live a more confident life.
After attaining accreditation from Access4you, we spent three months assessing Globalworth’s portfolio. We conducted onsite visits to study accessibility for nine stakeholder groups: wheelchair users, seniors, people with pushchairs and other groups with restricted mobility or visual and auditory challenges.
Accessibility was carefully measured against hundreds of detailed criteria across nine different categories of disability, with factors ranging from the presence and width of access ramps to elevator capacity and appropriate signage. We then compiled an audit report to ensure each site aligned with Access4you’s baseline accessibility standards and also provided a detailed development proposal for Globalworth.
As a result of this effort, Colliers is now Romania’s only Access4you accredited partner and auditor.
With more clients recognizing that addressing the social pillar of ESG sets them apart, we are upskilling more consultants as we expect more requests for these important audits. Colliers is also undertaking Access4you audits in the Czech Republic and Hungary.