CBRE Group is a globally active commercial real estate services and investment firm and is the largest commercial real estate services company in the world. It’s Global Workplace Solutions division, known as CBRE GWS, focuses on supporting occupiers of buildings through facilities management, project management, advisory and transaction services. With the company’s technical nature, it specializes in Integrated Facility Management, hard services led. Whereby hard services are almost always provided through a self-delivery proposition. Soft services are generally provided through collaboration with subcontracted parties.
CBRE’s organisational strategy
CBRE GWS provides facility management services in 128 countries worldwide and is active in all continents. Its primary focus lies with the USA, Europe and Asia markets, in which specific industries are targeted. Its clients include global financial, pharmaceutical, technology, manufacturing and oil and gas companies, and range from those with single buildings and stadia, to large portfolios for international Fortune 500 companies across every workplace type. CBRE distinguishes itself from other Facility Management Service providers as the majority of its Facility Management solutions are hard services-led, meaning that in whichever delivery model, CBRE will always look for a hard services component. CBRE GWS thereby focuses primarily on two delivery models: the Integrated Facilities Management model and the Single Service (hard services) model. The latter of which is primarily applied locally, while the first is more often applied to international (cross-border) accounts.
With the company’s origin in Real Estate, CBRE GWS strives to exploit its primary capabilities by developing an Integrated Facilities Management solution in which real estate, facility management, project management and advisory and transaction services are combined. At a few large, international clients this integrated service solution is already being delivered. The broad range of services that are encompassed in its IFM solution as well as the company’s scale to manage such integrated contracts on a global level is what makes it unique from its peers. In addition, CBRE GWS’s project management division is said to be significantly larger than its competitors’ and includes both large teams in the staff organisation as well as on its client accounts. With CBRE forming a strategic partnership with Turner & Townsend in 2021 (and the acquisition of a majority stake in the company), CBRE underlines its ambitions regarding program, project and cost management.
Servicing international clients
In recent years CBRE GWS has undergone major structural changes and has transformed its governance from a regionally-led to a country-led organisation. In order to provide better client care and service tailored to its customer needs, the organisation operates both in country (Local FM) and enterprise models (Enterprise Accounts). Enterprise Accounts services global clients whereas Local FM services local clients. In this way, CBRE GWS is able to operate more closely to its clients and to offer them the most suitable solution. Where necessary, CBRE GWS makes use of local partners to provide any services that it cannot self-deliver. In servicing its international clients, CBRE GWS’s long term strategy is to achieve greater diversification across four key dimensions: property types, lines of business (industries), geographic markets and clients. In doing so, the company aims to center its solutions more closely to the wishes and needs of its clients as well as to be able to create and allocate more specific expertise.
Major developments in the international landscape
CBRE GWS sees that major developments in the international landscape primarily lie within the areas of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. CBRE has consolidated its leadership for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) under a single leader – the Chief Responsibility Officer – and believes this will give ESG the visibility, sponsorship and accountability required to accelerate its progress. As the world’s largest manager of commercial properties, CBRE feels it can play an outsized role in helping to limit the rise in global temperatures, while improving the efficiency and sustainability of building operations. CBRE is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and has committed to science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets with a goal of cutting its operational emissions by more than two thirds by 2035. It has also pledged to make similarly ambitious reductions in the properties and facilities it manages for clients. CBRE’s focus on improving diversity is reflected in its inclusion in indices such as the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index and the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. CBRE has pledged to spend $3 billion annually with minority and women-owned suppliers by 2025.