With the rise in depletion of natural resources due to human activities, there is a rising increase in awareness among people on their actions.

Real Estate has been on the radar as a contributor to carbon emissions and resource exhaustion for a long time now.

The World Economic Forum states in their report “Environmental Sustainability Principles for the Real Estate Industry”, that the real estate sector consumes over 40% of global energy annually, the buildings generate 20% of global greenhouse gas emission and use roughly 40% of raw materials.

The industry is also responsible for other environmental impacts, such as waste production, pollution, water usage, and consumption of other natural resources. According to The World Built Environment Forum, key areas of focus are the reduction of energy consumption, the protection of natural resources as well as the provision of a healthy and well-being working environment.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by 193 countries at the Paris Accord (COP21) encompass the pressing issues of sustainability, to be addressed holistically on the social, environmental, and economical fronts.4 out of the 17 SDGs were focused on the real estate sector

As a need of the hour, The European Green New Deal targets a 55% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 & carbon-neutrality by 2050.

Not just from an environment preservation point of view, it makes complete sense from a business perspective too, to focus on building carbon-intensive assets. According to Deloitte, as of 2018, more than 30 trillion$ in funds were held in sustainable or green investments in the major markets, a rise in 34% in just 2 years!

According to QfLow, data will take center stage in this mission. Following are the trends being observed in the proptech industry, with around 3000 startups in Europe alone, the focus remains on technology as a powerhouse to build their core competency.

  • Technology connecting to devices on-site to capture real-time environmental data, including everything from waste and materials to air quality. It feeds back the data into its cloud-based platform and uses AI to deliver key insights to the engineering team.
  • Using AI to rapidly generate building design options, thus giving a chance to test more environment-friendly alternatives.
  • Accurate visual representations to compare the building on various sustainability parameters at the design stage.
  • Devising solutions to digitally calculate sustainability scores for various buildings.
  • Assessment frameworks to analyze economic impact for more environment-friendly alternatives in raw materials, energy sources, etc.

Eastern Enterprise collaborated with a major player in the Netherlands to co-create a solution to aid users in calculating the sustainability scores for buildings. Some of the features of this solution included an in-built visual representation & custom maps using geo-server that helps compare building on sustainability metrics and an assessment framework for economic analysis as per industry standards.

There are opportunities to embrace new technology and innovation to meet environmental goals and enhance business performance. Across every sector, technology has a key role to play in sustainability and we’re increasingly seeing digital initiatives encouraging people to move away from physical and wasteful alternatives. However, Real Estate is usually likened to a large, slow-moving and traditional industry, oftentimes reluctant to adopt new innovations. Nevertheless, we will continue to see companies disrupting to stay ahead of the game!