On 4th, 5th, and 6th October 2023, Europe’s largest B2B trade fair for real estate and investments was held in Munich: Expo Real 2023. With more than 40,000 visitors and over 1,800 exhibitors, the conference is an incubator for innumerable innovative concepts and green technologies.
Three days of insightful discussions and in-depth talks by renowned experts took place across the key themes in sustainable real estate, with ESG as the overarching topic. CFP colleagues Jan Zilch and Olivier Noorduyn visited Expo Real to officially launch the Green Buildings Tool in Germany, pick up the latest trends on ESG and discuss with fellow professionals. In this article, we highlight remarkable trends and learnings on ESG from Expo Real 2023.
With ESG as ubiquitous topic on Expo Real, there were several presentations and discussions addressing its challenges and possibilities. Jan and Olivier spoke with many Expo Real attendees and found that there was a certain consensus regarding ESG. Experts recognised that in general, two groups can be distinguished. Organisations are either convinced that ESG is important, but don’t know how to address relating issues, or they address ESG only from compliance point of view.
Compliance alone is, however, not enough, as ESG is a dynamic rather than static topic.As one of the speakers aptly said: “What’s sustainable today may not be tomorrow”. Sustainability — and ESG along with it — is moving and evolving. And therefore, so should organisations.
In one of the many inspiring discussions participated James Woodhead of Cushman & Wakefield, Nuno Brito e Cunha of Measurabl, and Olivier Elamine of Alstria Office Reit-AG. They addressed two key solutions for the recognised challenges of ESG.
Whereas a large share of companies has a dedicated sustainability team, seriously addressing ESG asks for integrating it at the heart of your business. When the sustainability experts focus solely on compliance to ESG legislation, the organisation is operating reactively and in the short term. That ultimately causes spending too much money in the wrong places.
Rather than treating ESG as a standalone side project, it should be integrated in investment decisions, partnerships and long-term plans. Embedding ESG in your organisation will simultaneously lead to proactive behaviour that anticipates future changes, easing the burden of compliance to ESG and other legislations.
ESG regulations demand data, which organisations are therefore collecting. With a focus on compliance, data may only be gathered when asked, in different formats. Different regulations namely ask for different types of data. Data for data’s sake however does not bring the change we need. Without actual physical changes on the ground, nothing chances or improves.
Systematically gathering data and storing it in a structured system, however, enables an operational approach. Managing data in this way creates new opportunities. By means of comprehensive data analysis, organisations will discover efficient investment opportunities which can clearly and data-based be presented to potential investors. It helps to transform ESG initiatives into real investment returns.
“Real estate companies must adopt an operational approach to sustainability, starting with meaningful data collection.”– Nuno Brito e Cunha, Lead ESG Advisor, EMEA at Measurabl
Recognising the need to encourage and simplify data collection and consequently maximizing its potential, CFP Green Buildings has developed the Green Buildings Tool. Olivier Noorduyn: “Our platform identifies property type, EPC and sustainability score of each building, in order to reveal the most relevant sustainability measures on portfolio and building level. Hereby, we help organisations to drastically reduce time spent on obtaining the right real estate data. Next to increasing time efficiency, it reveals how to improve sustainability of a building portfolio in the most cost-effective way.”
By providing insights regarding energy consumption, EPC and carbon emissions, the Green Building Tool creates two clear advantages in light of ESG:
By providing a business case to increase energy efficiency, organisations are able to engage in well-informed decision-making, for example regarding investments. As ESG factors are included in the data, using the Green Buildings Tool makes sure that ESG is included in core business decisions for both real estate owners and financiers. By utilizing the Green Buildings Tool, organisations can for example grant green loans.
Curious how our Green Buildings Tool can simplify carbon reporting?
Banks using the Green Buildings Tool automatically enrich their real estate data with valuable sustainability insights. By creating digital twins of every building and house in their loan book, they will profit from a sustainable competitive advantage and save time while doing so. The new insights can be used for risk management and to help out clients by financing their sustainability renovations.