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3 ways for Real Estate to act now

Melting ice caps polar sustainable earth planet

Climate change is no longer a thing of the future; it is here and now. With the release of the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report, it is clear that action can wait no longer. How can real estate chip in?

Extreme weather events have been dominating the news. The latest report from the IPCC shows these events will only gain regularity if we don’t take drastic measures to limit global warming. What does the report say and what are the next steps for Real Estate?

  • The report from the world’s global climate authorities warns us that temperatures will keep rising and that the threshold for global temperature rise should keep to a maximum of 1.5 degrees C to prevent the worst impact. The good news is that this is still within reach. The ‘bad’ news is that this will only be achievable if we take radical measures to cut carbon emissions, especially in the built environment.
  • The report is very clear: whereas before the cause of global warming was less certain, it is now completely undeniable that human activity is the primary driver of climate change.

You can find a summary of the report here. Although it may seem like terrible news for mother earth, hello energy believes it presents a great opportunity for Real Estate heroes to start transforming buildings for the better. Renewable energy is no longer a ‘nice to have’; there’s no other option than fully decarbonising. Here are three ways you can get started:

1. Maximise your building (portfolio) performance
Large-scale investments are needed to curb the increase in emissions. That means you will need to prioritise optimising the performance of your building(s) with certifications such as BREAAM, GRESB (portfolio level) and WELL. This will not only increase performance, but will also help attract investors. Over 73% of investors take Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosure and performance metrics into account when evaluating risk and identifying opportunities (Source: Reit.com).

2. Up your game in sustainable policies and ESG reporting
Now that EU policymakers are going to demand that more companies report their climate impact & plans, that will also raise the bar for accountability, transparency and the quality of these reports. More and more companies are realising that reports aren’t just needed to meet legal requirements, they are also informing and engaging all of their internal and external stakeholders in their sustainability goals.

A recent study by JLL shows that real estate sustainability is a key priority, but more decisive actions are needed. The study was done among 1,000 senior executive leaders around the world and concludes: only 6% currently see themselves as ‘leaders’ in measuring and reporting in real-time on the environmental impact of their real estate holdings.

Additionally to creating better ESG reports, think of designing a roadmap together with your stakeholders on the course of action in the coming years, tailored to your company. Want to find out where you and your stakeholders align or need to collaborate? Our Sustainability Radar is a great tool for that.

3. Actively engage & involve tenants and users
Tenants and users of buildings are becoming more critical and demanding of spaces in terms of sustainability and health, especially now they are slowly returning to the workplace. To utilise the spaces better and involve people in creating the most effective and pleasant environment possible, we do not only encourage you to collect feedback from your most important building users but also actively involve them on a day-to-day basis. For instance, hello energy’s software uses actionable energy insights and fun challenges to trigger and engage people into making a positive impact.

CEO Benno wrote a topical blog about ‘Creating sustainable places and green buildings together.’ Want to know more about creating better and future-proof offices? Sign up for our newsletter here.

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