Author: hello energy

8 barriers to sustainability in real estate and how to remove them

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What are the enablers and the barriers to the successful implementation of sustainability projects? We’ve identified 8 key challenges to overcome if you want to get your buildings to net-zero by 2050.

“If you don’t measure it, you can’t change it. If you don’t value it, you won’t change it.”

That’s one of the findings in our latest white paper, explaining how you can engage and align your stakeholders and work on a joint sustainability roadmap.

However, there are some barriers preventing you to do just that, some of which are harder to influence than orders. These are likely the key reasons you are struggling to make headway towards creating more sustainable buildings:

1. Lack of goals
2. Conflicts of interest
3. Unavailable resources or skills
4. Too many different stakeholders
5. Late state of engagement
6. Fatigue and cynicism
7. Outcome is hard to govern
8. Dialogue or engagement is missing

Want to know how to remove these barriers and design better initiatives to get everyone on the same page?
Download our white paper to get some of the best tips to get back on track.

Data science at hello energy: “more actionable insights” – Interview with Sameer

As a software solution that helps connect and engage real estate owners in sustainability, we’re constantly evolving our features so that our customers can create energy-positive buildings. Sameer Chourasia is a data scientist at hello energy who is committed to improving our features with his sharp analytical skills.

We’re working on ways to notify you on how to reduce the footprint of your buildings. You’ll be able to tell the difference between business as usual versus really good practice.”

Sameer Chourasia
Data scientist at hello energy

Getting the most out of big data is all about problem-solving. You need to be able to recognise patterns, structure a solution and challenge assumptions. Sustainability is a complex subject in which a number of data puzzles need to be solved: collecting the data, connecting it to gain valuable insights and monitoring to see how people engage with it. Luckily, Sameer brings all of these skills to the table to find those missing pieces and brings this knowledge to hello energy. He’s working on a number of analyses, one of which is our ‘benchmark’ feature’.

“Right now, our benchmark feature shows how well your building is performing compared to the industry standards. We’d like to create a more detailed overview comparing your building to similar buildings in your area, or use multiple other benchmarks for electricity, gas, heat, water and CO2 emissions so that you can get better actionable insights.

Sameer’s work is not just about making our features smarter or collecting data. It’s also about providing actionable insights; that is, nudging you and other customers to take action towards a zero-emission goal.

Sameer: “We’re working on ways to notify you on how to reduce the footprint of your buildings. Customers will be able to tell the difference between business as usual versus really good practice.”

Research by Sameer on smart meters across Europe

Another focal point of his research is optimising our automation process. Collecting data is one of the most time-sensitive processes for our customers because it entails installing sensors or getting access to energy data from third parties. But this step is crucial in connecting the dots. That’s why hello energy wants to make this process as smooth and easy as possible.

Sameer: “Our aim would be to replace manual processes with automatic ones so our customers won’t have to fuss over details and can focus on the big picture and their sustainability milestones.”

The best part about Sameer’s work is that it helps hello energy and our customers to find answers to things that are unknown, learn new things and pushes us to find new approaches to make an impact.

“I like that some of my work focuses on client features, whereas other research is more open-ended and can take me in a number of different directions. It’s very exciting and satisfying when my research helps to solve problems or find new opportunities.”

New feature: the Sustainability Radar

Want to make your buildings more sustainable? But struggle to align your stakeholders? Our latest feature, the Sustainability Radar helps you find out where you stand and plan out your roadmap to create energy-positive buildings.

The Sustainability Radar is our latest feature within our software solution that helps real estate owners and their stakeholders get a better grip of where they stand by measuring and visualising their sustainability score.

It measures the steps you’ve already taken on these four key aspects: policy, communication, technical measures, and behaviour. And it tells you where you and your stakeholders are aligned, or misaligned. This helps you improve collaboration, create ambassadors for impact, and determine your next steps towards a sustainability roadmap.

How does it work?

1. Reach out to your stakeholders

If you’re an asset manager or sustainability manager, you can invite your building’s stakeholders, such as your property manager or your tenants, to take part in the Sustainability Radar.

2. Answer all the questions

All invited stakeholders fill in the Radar. This consists of a questionnaire covering four sustainability topics: policy, communication, technical measures, and behaviour. The points you’ll get for each given answer add up to a personal sustainability score.

3. Learn from the results
After completing the questions, each participant will get a personal sustainability score, which is visualised in a spiderweb, The spiderweb shows you how you score in all four categories. Here’s an example on the left. The scores for policy are a little behind on other categories. In this case, the advice is to focus on improving the scores for policy- for example by creating a roadmap to working towards your sustainability goals.
4. Take action

Read the tips and see how you can improve your sustainability scores. Talk with your fellow stakeholders about your sustainability score and find out in which areas you can work together. Plan your next move in your journey towards energy-positive buildings!

Your journey to create energy-positive buildings starts here
Want to find out how it works? Sign up for a hello energy via the form at the bottom of this page.

We’re moving to the cloud

hello energy is scaling up rapidly. Serving over customers worldwide and continuously increasing the features of our products, requires that we keep on our toes and prepare for future capabilities. That’s why we’ve been working on scaling up our development process, as well as moving our infrastructure to the cloud with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Lifting and shifting
The process has already kicked off this January and we’re working on this alongside our current environment. It’s a hassle-free process and our customers won’t notice a thing while we’re improving on our SaaS solution architecture and preparing it for future developments.

Barrie Vince, our Chief Technology Officer says: “Building in the cloud allows us to create fast, scalable and multi-device solutions. We will do this by ‘lifting and shifting’ our current solution. In the near future, it won’t matter if we serve 500 or 5 million buildings, because the AWS platform allows us to expand our capacity very rapidly. It also gives us access to AWS Analytics, which can provide elaborate insights on data, and machine learning capabilities so our services become increasingly smart.”

Involvement of stakeholders crucial to meet sustainability goals
Benno Schwarz, CEO adds: “A net-zero carbon strategy in real estate is impossible without the involvement of all stakeholders. That means that within our solution, especially for customers with a larger real estate portfolio, we need to connect multiple users to our platform, as well as offer connection to multiple devices. Gaining actionable insights will increase alignment and engagement around sustainability goals.”

AWS not only helps us realize international expansion by having datacenters over the world, but their policies also tie in with our sustainable vision. Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge— a commitment to be net-zero carbon across their business by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.

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