Case Studies

Refined Risk

Data solutions for real estate management sustainability

Founded in 2008 by Hugh Molyneux and Terry Shane, Refined Risk provides intuitive software that inspires innovation in sustainability for the real estate sector. Through the development of performance measurement and real-time dashboards, Refined Risk creates the opportunity for real estate investors to make informed decisions in the areas of sustainability, insurance, environmental, occupational health and safety (OHS) and regulatory risk. Located in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Refined Risk has 25 full-time employees working with large real estate portfolio’s throughout North America.

A solid foundation

“Refined Risk’s main focus is to assist the real estate sector in managing the impact their operations have on the quality of the environment we live in,” Hugh explains. The software pulls data from large accounting platforms such as JD Edwards of Yardi and is able to track anything from operations and energy costs to waste management and carbon footprint. “The software is a centralized hub,” says Jessa Molyneux, account manager for Refined Risk. “Property managers, investors and even tenants can slice and dice relevant data and tackle environmental aspects the most important to them. It’s a very holistic approach that is driven by accountability and engagement.”

With a background in environmental science, Hugh began his career as an environmental consultant. In 1995, he built a company similar to Refined Risk called Caribou Systems Corporation. In 2006, long after selling Caribou Systems Corporations, a former client contacted Molyneux and stated the old system was outdated and they needed an update on their software. “I formed the company with Terry and we started working with that client again,” recalls Hugh.

Refined RiskIn a world where software is becoming a more common management tool, Refined Risk recognizes the value in simple, easy-to-use, intuitive programs. “It’s the only software that we’re aware of that has an integrated platform that allows the user to manage environmental, OHS and sustainability from a single platform,” says Hugh. “It also integrates through to clients’ accounting systems so that any reporting that they do on environmental, OHS and sustainability is consistent and organized in sync with their business lines. The information is generated in accordance with how the business is organized from a financial and operational standpoint.”

Refined Risk deals with real estate companies that are managing portfolios of sites totaling more than 20 million square feet. Since the company’s inception, Refined Risk managed to grow at an exponential rate. The first few years saw the company double in revenue each year. “In the last few years we’ve grown about 30 percent each year,” says Hugh.

Sustainable relationships

Hugh is particularly proud of one of the team’s software products called Questionnaire Builder. This tool allows the user to create any type of survey with advanced scoring and modeling capabilities which can be single-use, weekly, monthly and annually. The motivation for this program comes from the fact that Refined Risk used to customize each product for each client. Now, the company has a base product of which the client is able to customize themselves. “Some of the questions might result in a LEED score or a Building Owners and Managers Association International [BOMA] score,” Molyneux explains. “So the program allows the user to not only build their own questions but also their own categories. It’s the first software that allows the customer to collect data that is completely unique to their needs and unique to how their organization expresses its position on sustainability as well as other areas.”

Bentall Kennedy, one of North America’s largest commercial real estate advisors, was one of the first clients to work with Refined Risk. “We have a great working relationship with them,” says Molyneux. The company has maintained such a good working relationship that Bentall Kennedy has worked closely with Refined Risk to field-proof many of the company’s products. “They work with us to make sure that overall, the product is useful to the client,” adds Hugh.

As a company committed to sustainability, Jessa and Hugh have both visited multiple Greenbuild conferences and found there to be numerous benefits from being involved. “With so much of business being conducted over the phone and Internet these days, it’s a wonderful opportunity to meet people face to face,” Molyneux explains. “To have an informal venue where you can find out what people are dealing with and the kinds of issues they’re facing in data management; it really puts a human face on the problems that we’re providing solutions for.”

Looking ahead

Molyneux says the biggest strength of his company is the people under his employ. “It’s definitely the quality of the people that work here,” says Molyneux. “We have wonderful people that create a really professional yet fun environment.”

In the next few years, Molyneux plans to see the company continue to grow and develop. “The biggest focus will be to continue our expansion throughout the United States,” he explains. “We’ve sold systems to four of the top six property managers here in Canada and now we’d like to do that in the U.S.”

As the company continues to expand its market share, the company will continue to exemplify the morals and ethics which have made Refined Risk so successful.

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Spring 2018

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