Author: Linda Inpijn

Property management software can create more sustainable buildings

There’s a growing interest in green building certifications and making buildings more sustainable. A study by PwC shows that automation and smart software could help property managers and real estate investment funds Paris-proof their building portfolio.

80% of investors have incorporated ESG goals

More and more institutional investors are recognising the importance of having a long-term vision on sustainability. At least 80 per cent of these property investors have incorporated ESG goals (Environmental, social and corporate governance) into their strategies.

Not only do these investors want to weigh their long term investments, but green building certifications also help reduce risks for these investments.

The gap between ESG reporting

It turns out, however, that there’s a GAP between the information that investors and (real estate) companies are looking for. Investors want detailed reports to make risk assessments across portfolios, whereas (real estate) companies are delivering inconsistent information on their ESG goals and outcomes.

Smart software

Automation and smart software could help streamline this information exchange. For example, hello energy helps make the sustainability performance of your building portfolio more insightful by visualising the outcomes. With the benchmark feature, you can compare your buildings to the (inter)national industry standards or to similar buildings.

3 reasons alignment & engagement are the key to Paris-proof buildings

The pressure is on to go Paris-proof by 2050. But how are real estate companies ensuring they will get there in time? We’ve identified three important aspects to meet your sustainability goals and to turn your stakeholders into sustainability ambassadors for impact.

In our latest white paper ‘the Art of Alignment‘ we explain why so many real estate companies are committed to sustainability but are struggling to meet the criteria to get their buildings out of the red zone.

Most hurdles occur during the implementation of sustainability plans. Firstly, this problem is partly caused by the split-incentive problem: there are different (financial) interests at play within the stakeholder groups when it comes to commitment to sustainable goals. But secondly and more importantly, alignment is one of the most influential aspects determining success in making a tangible impact.

hello energy believes that if you look at how well you and your stakeholders are aligned, you’ll start to remove the first bottlenecks and head towards an energy-positive roadmap:

1. Alignment improves efficiency by 20%
Research shows that alignment on a strategic level with your stakeholders can increase your efficiency by 20%. To support this theory, we’ve conducted a small survey among real estate decision-makers that shows just how many different factors are at play in aligning others:

2. Engagement adds a layer of purpose and drives project performance
It is said that people who are engaged in their work perform at a higher level. That’s why engagement, being emotionally involved or committed to a goal, is a crucial ingredient to sustainability. The absence or lack of effective stakeholder engagement during a project life cycle, especially at the earlier stages of planning and implementation, often negatively impacts the expected performance of projects. If you want to make people commit to sustainability goals in your building, they need to feel engaged to want to become involved.

3. Alignment + engagement= perfect recipe for success in sustainability

Combining alignment and engagement is the perfect recipe to achieve success in sustainability and to drive strategic growth. Alignment appeals to the mind: it’s where the pieces of the strategic puzzle fit together (such as vision, roles and processes), whereas engagement is an appeal to the heart. If you know what you’re working towards AND you feel passionate about it, that’s where the real magic happens. As an independent expert on stakeholder management puts it:

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

Do you want to find out the next 8 steps to align & engage your stakeholders in becoming sustainability ambassadors? And how to remove all the obstacles that are preventing you from becoming Paris-proof?

Download our latest white paper on the Art of Alignment here.

Green leases: tenants & stakeholders committing to sustainability

Real estate has a significant negative impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Did you know that emissions from commercial buildings are most influenced by tenants? Green leases are a new form of managing buildings, meant to solidify commitment to sustainability goals between building owners and tenants and improve the building’s social value and performance.

A recent article by Savills says that the best way to reduce negative impacts and improve the efficiency and productivity of the whole building is through collaboration. What’s more, the majority of a building’s social value potential comes from landlords and occupants working together.

Green leasing is a great way to mitigate sustainability risks and improve ways to manage the social and environmental performance of a building.

What does green leasing mean?

There is no standardised method of classifying a lease as ‘green’, but the article mentions that it includes documents and clauses that intend to have the landlord and its tenants commit to operating the buildings sustainably. This can be done per building, but also on a portfolio level. Green leases include agreements on things such as reducing energy consumption, emissions, resource, and waste. Green leases also need to address how sustainability data will be shared in both directions to facilitate optimal performance.

Sharing insights on sustainability

Green leases have many benefits: not only do they provide improvements for the environmental and social performance of the buildings, but it also helps real estate owners manage compliance and score significantly better on sustainability certifications.

The article on Savills adds: “It has the potential to enhance an organization’s reputation through benchmarking, improve the wellbeing of the building’s occupants, attract and retain talent through shared core values and provide assurance for tenants that their ESG priorities will be met.”

Have you thought of new ways to get your stakeholders and tenants to commit to greener real estate? hello energy provides a solution that puts all insights on sustainability at your fingertips and in plain sight. Discover more here. 

Image credit: siyuan LI via Unsplash.

Cycling 10 times more efficient than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities

A recent study published on journalism platform the Conversation, shows that active travel such as cycling can contribute to tackling the climate emergency earlier than electric vehicles while also providing affordable, reliable, clean, healthy, and congestion-busting transportation.

In the study, more than 4000 participants from London, Antwerp, Barcelona, Vienna, Orebro, Rome, and Zurich were followed over a two-year period, by entering 10,000 travel diary entries.

The main reason for this research paper on transport is that is one of the most challenging sectors to ‘decarbonize’ due to its heavy fossil fuel use and reliance on carbon-intensive infrastructures – such as roads, airports, and the vehicles themselves. “Globally, only one in 50 new cars were fully electric in 2020. Sounds impressive, but even if all new cars were electric now, it would still take 15-20 years to replace the world’s fossil fuel car fleet”, says Clint Witchalls, Health & Medicine Editor.

The study points to alternative means of transport such as car swapping, cycling, e-biking, and walking (coined as ‘active travel) and the potential to reduce emissions significantly.

It shows that:

  • Emissions from cycling can be more than 30 times lower for each trip than driving a fossil fuel car, and about ten times lower than driving an electric one.
  • Cyclists had 84% lower CO2 emissions from all daily travel than non-cyclists.
  • Life cycle CO2 emissions decreased by 14% for each additional cycling trip.
  • The top 10% of participants were responsible for 59% of life cycle CO2 emissions.
  • Regular cycling was most strongly associated with reduced life cycle CO2 emissions for commuting and social trips.

Read the full article here.

Image courtesy of Sabina Fratila via Unsplash.

Why mondays are great to encourage sustainable behaviour

Sustainable goals can only be achieved when you’re working together, but you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. Especially on those typical ‘manic Mondays’. It turns out though, that Mondays are the perfect moment to change habits.

Engaging and aligning others, whether it’s your employees, building stakeholders or portfolio managers, in making behavioural changes to meet the same goals, are key to creating energy-positive buildings.

Research suggests that Mondays are the perfect moment to encourage the first steps towards a zero-carbon future.

Study Johns Hopkins on Meatless Mondays
A study by Johns Hopkins, for instance, points out that the concept of ‘Meatless Mondays’ are best designed to start at the beginning of the week when people are more open to healthy behaviours.
“Monday offers an opportunity to “reset” and get back on track after any lapses over the weekend and studies show people that get back on track at the beginning of the week are better able to maintain progress over time. Meatless Monday in organisations or whole communities can foster solidarity and a shared commitment to reducing meat consumption.” Meatless Mondays also address worldwide problems such as chronic preventable diseases, overuse of precious land and water resources, and the acceleration of climate change, which threatens our planet’s future.

Make sustainability an everyday topic
Meatless Mondays and offering everyday vegetarian and vegan menu options in the company cafeteria are great and easy ways to reduce your businesses carbon footprint and making sustainability an everyday element of your company policies and goals.

It gets even better when you can announce your planet-friendly menu options on your narrowcasting screen via hello energy’s solution.

Landmarks have a ‘fresh start effect’
But it’s not only a Monday that calls attention to much needed behavioural change. Other dates that mark important events can be just as effective in creating awareness on sustainability.

Across five studies, psychological scientists found that people are more motivated to pursue their goals on certain dates.

Dates stand out as more meaningful
The study says that people tend to attribute negative traits and failures to their past selves while maintaining a positive image of their current selves. Dates that stand out as being more meaningful—such as the start of a new week or financial quarter, a birthday, or a holiday— signal the start of a new, distinct time period. Essentially, people are more empowered and motivated to pursue their goals when they feel like their past failures are behind them and their future success is ahead of them — a phenomenon the researchers dub “the fresh start effect.”

Did you know that…
hello energy is a SaaS solution that engages real estate owners to create energy-positive buildings. You can get insights on your daily sustainability score and benchmark your company’s energy usage to other similar companies. Our solution allows you to create playlists with an announce board via your narrowcasting screens, engaging your visitors or employees in seeing and contributing to your daily sustainability progress. Find out more here.

 

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