Conveyancing Information Executive drives environmental reports standard setting
13 November 2023
The Conveyancing Information Executive (CIE) has updated its recently completed and industry first Climate Change Environmental Report(s) Compliance Standard, in light of the Law Society guidance (article) and growing data availability across the property risk sector.
With further sector specific (real estate) climate change guidance due next year and consideration to be given to wider existing environmental report guidance, this review is both timely and topical.
The main outcome of the review is the critical importance of understanding and reporting on the interplay between data and risk outcomes. Practitioners are not climate and environmental science experts, and rely on credible and reputable environmental risk authorities to translate data into meaningful risk insight and advice. The latter being equally valuable compared to the data itself.
Considering environmental risk data firstly, one of the tenants of the CIE compliance note (and all CIE subscribers) is data integrity, coverage and accuracy. In a digital first world when information is provided visually (in maps) or digitally (via integrations), the chain underpinning the data is less easily available. This chain includes where the data has come from, how it has been analysed and what licenses underpin its usage. This is critical information for users of environmental reports to understand, as it defines the integrity and completeness of the risk assessments being provided. Recognising the importance of this, the CIE recently published a set of data ethics working in conjunction with the RED Foundation.
When considering risk insight and advice layered on top of the data, what is of utmost importance is practical and efficient guidance on what risks mean and how to resolve them. You can only really procure this from people, as A.I. can take you down the road of data simplicity, but it can’t yet navigate more complex questions like which is my best risk resolution option (e.g. due diligence or insurance). All CIE subscribed businesses adhere to standards which include customer service, and technical consultancy support provision in a timely fashion, to assist report users in navigating the outcomes of risk assessments. This a critical bridge between the environmental experts and the practioners translating these risks into meaningful client advice and next steps.
Representing the majority of the UK data suppliers underpinning property transactions, the CIE will continue to evolve and enhance the baseline requirements of environmental and climate change reporting as the latter becomes more widely adopted by law firms following the release of TLS guidance. Our members cover the full spectrum of conveyancing market products and services, including environmental, drainage and water, coal, mapping, national search providers and much more. See our members page for more information.
The CIE welcomes membership applications from all organisations that support the UK’s conveyancing industry and adopt the highest industry data standards. For more information regarding membership, visit www.conveyinfoexec.com