Recognising their significant contribution to CO2 emissions and high level of energy use, businesses across the real estate industry are turning to new technology to reduce their carbon footprints.
Technology and innovation investor Taronga Ventures is reporting wide interest in a new program that offers avenues for businesses to boost their ESG performance.
Real estate firms Dexus, ISPT, Vicinity Centres, CBRE and International Towers have been early adopters of the program, which provides access to technology from a range of providers to drive ESG transformation in their real estate portfolios.
Options, for example, include access to companies such as Allume Energy, which has developed a system for rooftop solar energy between multiple tenants in a building using behind-the-meter switches, saving 280 tonnes of carbon over a 10-year period.
Another offering is Valen Energy, a producer of solar energy-generating poles to power security, lighting, smart sensors and connectivity in public spaces.
Taronga Ventures has already reviewed more than 500 submissions from technology innovators interested in taking part in the program. Thirty-four have so far been selected to participate, many with sustainability solutions ready to implement now.
The company’s co-founder and managing director, Jonathan Hannam, said that real estate companies were clearly waking up to the need to mitigate their carbon impacts.
He noted that according to the United Nations Environment Programme’s 2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction, the sector accounts for 36 per cent of final energy use worldwide and 37 per cent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions (CO2).
“We believe it is crucial to deliver the real estate and construction sectors cutting edge ESG innovations now to help them operate more sustainably and have ESG strategies at the core of their business focus,” Mr Hannam said.
“Post COP26, we are focused on bringing feasible and effective tech solutions to the real estate sector to address the most pressing ESG issues.”
The program offers a strong case to convert those who may have previously found sustainability solutions too complicated to navigate or who were under the impression there was little they could do to mitigate the environmental impact of their real estate activities.
“We do not need to wait for new technologies to be developed to improve the real estate sector’s environmental performance,” Mr Hannam said. “There are solutions available today, in market and scaling, that can deliver a significant portion of our targeted impacts.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.