Step up for sustainability – the opportunities in real estate are substantial


28th January 2020

Prophet of doom or trying to make it better with Greta – where do you stand?

My assessment is that change is needed, wanted and coming.  The world has woken up to the impacts of the industrial age and social pressure will drive governments to act.

While many will see a sustainability revolution as a business and commercial opportunity – which it undeniably is – it’s clearly going to involve legislation and regulation.  It’s going to be complicated but it’s also going to be very exciting.

I think the 2020s will be the decade for decisive action on carbon, energy, materials and waste.  The real estate and infrastructure sectors are massively exposed and have a key part to play.  From how we build and what we use to build, to the way we heat, light and cool – these are all ‘energy impactful’ so offer opportunities for innovation.

The built environment, leases and development are what I advise on and it’s inevitable that buildings with poor carbon footprints will soon tip from assets to liabilities.  We are going to have to adapt.

I’m also helping clients with clean fuel initiatives and working with businesses involved with heat exchange technology.  What it tells me is that the ingenuity of human beings will always create ideas and possibilities which, within the right commercial and legal framework, can really fly.

So I’m optimistic.  People are engaged and momentum is building.  What needs to happen next is for appetite and ambition to become action, for policies to become law and for businesses to understand the risks and the opportunities.

Prince Charles has also spoken out, adding his voice to the Davos platform and challenging the (business) world to act.

I welcome the talk and the spotlight on sustainability.  But this isn’t about the bandwagon and how many people jump on.  It’s about identifying and navigating a real path to genuine change.

I want to be part of that and I want to help my clients to succeed as we all address the sustainability challenge.

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