Today is Earth Day 2021: "a day of action to change human behaviour and create global, national and local policy changes". Marking the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970, this year's Earth Day has the theme of Restoring Our Earth. How are we seeing the real estate industry responding to the climate crisis in practice?
What is the difference between a rapid and ultra-rapid electric vehicle charger? Which is the most sustainable option out of recycled, recyclable or reclaimed materials? What are the statutory obligations on energy efficient buildings going to look like in five years' time?
Forward-thinking investors, developers, asset managers and occupiers are posing these questions, along with many, many others, to help them determine where risks and opportunities lie within the sustainability arena.
When is the right time to open the dialogue around making meaningful commitments to improve the environmental performance of buildings?
Greater engagement between owners and occupiers, and their respective professional advisors, is key to closing the performance gap between how buildings are designed to perform and how they actually perform when occupied. We all have a role to play in decarbonising the built environment.
Data driven analysis and benchmarking
Smart meters mean smarter property management. As the saying goes: knowledge is power.
The environmental performance of assets is being increasingly monitored through the collection and analysis of performance data. Evaluating buildings through meaningful benchmarking schemes places the focus firmly on ESG, alongside establishing where value lies and allowing for early mitigation of risk.
Progressive stakeholders in the built environment are setting themselves stretch goals, innovating through design and technology and integrating new sustainability practices to place them at the heart of their business models.
With some parties less keen to make these kind of commitments, there is also a place for taking a bullish stance in negotiating contractual arrangements where enhanced provisions can be introduced to set the sustainability standard – because there is, of course, no Planet B.