It is on how Construction products and services could contribute to sustainable development through ESG as an investment driver for real estate and construction. This is Business Day of South Africa covering a few days ago that ground. Let us see how.
The picture above is for illustration and is on Linkedin.
ESG is an investment driver for real estate and construction
By Carla Clamp and Richard Walker
Building back better means ensuring sustainability is at the heart of every decision
The pandemic has reshaped the real estate and construction sectors. As organisations embrace remote or hybrid working models, the need for physical office space and industrial buildings is decreasing. Many companies, on both the occupier and owner side, have had to quickly shift into revenue-protection mode as cash flows have slowed.ADVERTISEMENT
With lockdowns and movement restrictions, construction projects are also facing immediate and midterm impacts, such as dormant construction sites, labour restrictions, a disrupted global supply chain and missed project milestones. This has brought to the spotlight the need for enhanced agility, digital transformation and a renewed approach to the environmental aspects of environmental, social & governance (ESG) strategies.
According to the 2020 Global Status Report for Building and Construction, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the construction sector contribute 38% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, while electricity consumption in building operations represents nearly 55% of global consumption. Though these numbers are alarming, exponential technologies and global policies are giving rise to positive developments towards building decarbonisation and energy efficiency as the world sprints towards becoming more carbon neutral by 2050.
Financial institutions and real estate companies are realising the investment opportunities and strong growth potential of sustainable construction. New projects offer developers the opportunity to integrate sustainable strategies into building design from inception, to maximise the financial benefits that come from sustainability savings and to avoid the need for costly retrofits in future. Buildings that do not adhere to sustainable practices may take longer to sell and may incur higher sale prices, as well as lower rental occupancy rates, resulting in a loss of market share.
To truly reap the long-term benefits that come with developing ESG policies, organisations must remain firm on the implementation and continued compliance of their chosen framework. Investors need to understand how each ESG strategy creates value and whether the entire framework, from start to finish and across the entire value chain, is sustainable — from the suppliers (raw material suppliers and building contractors) to the operations, rollout and management teams, as well as industry regulators, and eventually the landlords and tenants. Investors want to see how the chosen ESG framework lives and breathes within the organisation. Much depends on the level of trust between all of these players and how they prioritise these sustainable processes.
With ESG at the top of the global agenda, responsible investing is also gaining momentum in SA. A recent risk landscape report conducted by BDO SA reflected that 22% of Middle East & Africa participants were more likely to implement more rigorous ESG policies than those in any other region. The government plays a critical role in unlocking further opportunity alongside organisations such as the Green Buildings Council of SA to inspire the development of environments in which people and the planet survive harmoniously. While the pandemic has brought with it many challenges, it also presents a shift towards incorporating decarbonisation measures into recovery packages that can dramatically increase renovation rates, channel investment into zero-carbon buildings, provide jobs and increase real estate value.
Organisations looking to implement or improve their ESG frameworks can turn to more than 1,000 indices that benchmark ESG performance globally. Depending on the type of investors an organisation is trying to attract, they can be held accountable to any number of these. The lack of a solid framework can result in companies creating their own processes that do not account for proper risk management infrastructures, which may add significant compliance burdens. This results in inaccurate reports that don’t only damage reputation but also hinder investment funding opportunities.
The key to accurately and transparently tracking ESG risks lies in an integrated approach to risk management through centralised and integrated technology solutions. ESG frameworks must intrinsically link every aspect of the business, from the business model to strategy, performance, risk and governance. This includes, among other things, identifying risks within the supply chain, making purchasing decisions with an eye to suppliers’ ESG credentials, implementing policies to improve diversity and inclusion, and ensuring strategic objectives include ESG considerations. Ultimately, compliance is just part of an organisation’s social licence to operate. It is not something that should be approached separately, but rather needs to be systematically integrated into day-to-day operations.
Another key driver for local business sustainability is being able to react and adapt quickly, essentially being agile. Success in an uncertain environment means being able to effectively evolve with the changing world. Risk management frameworks must be adaptable and organisations must look at strengthening their risk awareness. One way to do this is to implement early-warning monitoring systems that use data to stress-test a wide matrix of scenarios. The only way to achieve stable growth and sustainable success is by being agile, because as recent events have shown, risk is inevitable and continuous.
The global economy is in survival mode. As businesses emerge and focus on their recovery strategies, ESG will be key to navigating a path forward. The companies that come back stronger will be those that focus on long-term sustainability and resilience. ESG has a pivotal role to play in enabling post-Covid economic recovery in the real estate and construction sectors, particularly if long-term investors align recovery with sustainable outcomes.
The implementation and compliance of sustainable business practices that attract long-term investment to SA should be front of mind as businesses plan for the future and our economic recovery. The businesses that will thrive tomorrow are likely to be those that understand and respond to these trends today.
• C. Clamp is director and R. Walker head of risk advisory services at BDO SA.
City life is often compared to an urban jungle where people merely exist in a given space, in a given time.
But what if space and time are rediscovered with fulfilment felt by the dwellers in a community that thrives in sustainability of living? What if time and space are elements that give birth to economic advancement, environmental preservation and community progress?
The one thousand and one “what-ifs” are a thousand and one realities SMDC offers to people who deserve a thousand and one more chances of a life of quality. Not only today but also in the years – many, many years – to come.
“Making cities sustainable means creating career and business opportunities, safe and affordable housing, and building resilient societies and economies,” the United Nations has said.
Because today and tomorrow are important to SMDC, its communities are designed and run based on three sustainability pillars: economic, environmental, and social.
More than a roof over one’s head
Community building, for SMDC, is more than just providing a roof over one’s head. It is about creating a place that allows people to thrive, where all the living essentials are within striking distance – from one’s daily necessities to opportunities for commerce, for jobs and for livelihood.
Building a nation of homeowners, as envisioned by Chairman Henry Sy Jr., means providing homes that are practical – efficient in size, generous in amenities, luxurious in services and facilities.
South 2 Residences in Las Piñas City is built on the concept of 15-minute cities, where economic opportunities, everyday essentials and public services are reachable in 15 minutes or less.
Sustainability, after all, is about sharing spaces and resources, so that they become inclusive and affordable, while providing enough space for others to thrive. For people to continue to thrive, they need to be close to where the economic opportunities are, in major CBDs whose property prices are constantly skyrocketing. An SMDC home, therefore, does not just take care of today’s dwellers; it is a place where homeowners can reap good financial rewards, as a legacy that can be passed on to their children and their children’s children.
It is this idea of shared spaces that opens SMDC communities to the everyday home seeker. To be able to live in a safe community with hotel-like lobbies, resort-style amenities, 24/7 security, located in a major CBD, was a luxury available only to the rich. Now everyone can have a piece of that luxury. And by everyone, it also means individuals who may be challenged to live in vertical spaces. SMDC homes are built with accessibility provisions for seniors, children and PWDs.
More than just a breathing space
City living spaces are often viewed as concrete jungles devoid of breathing spaces. Community building by way of SMDC means creating homes where residents and guests not only enjoy vast, open spaces with lots of greenery, but also with energy efficiency as part and parcel of every design. Units are built to bring in natural light and ventilation, LED fixtures are used and a waste management system is in place.
Sands Residences brings to Manila a premium-quality waterfront home in a complete community that provides a lot of breathing space and magnificent views
Every development is built with disaster-resiliency and future-readiness in mind – from site selection to construction and beyond. SMDC’s property management personnel are trained to respond quickly to emergencies of all kinds. These trainings are made available to residents through regular workshops.
Being situated where all of life’s daily essentials are within walkable distances, not only encourages residents to walk, jog or bike, but also allows them to become stewards of the Earth by reducing their carbon footprint. SMDC’s sprawling amenities and activity areas encourage residents to spend more time outdoors, savor Nature and reduce energy consumption.
More than just existing
Sustainability is built around the concept of continued existence for people. But to continue to exist, i.e., to extend today’s lives and to continue life for the future, means being in a place where health and happiness are given primary importance. SMDC’s properties allow residents to take care of their physical, mental and emotional health through spaces designed for these activities, spaces that encourage the creation of social connections, the very concept of community building.
The Good Guys Weekend Market provides a venue for residents to continue generating income during this pandemic.
But mere spaces are not enough. There has to be a catalyst to make these connections, and community spirit, come to life. SMDC’s The Good Guys program, enables SMDC communities to come together in the spirit of conviviality, to provide for both economic and social progress for residents, and to extend this altruism beyond its communities.
Building happy, healthy, secure and thriving communities is the heart of sustainable living, as exemplified in SMDC HappyNings, 2-time Quill awardee for community relations.
There is no life in mere existing. To live is to exist sustainably.
In a given space and a given time, SMDC creates the space for people to live today and to continue to survive the challenges of time.
Retail real estate needs Paris-Proof decarbonisation strategy, says Buildings Performance Institute Europe as reported by property funds world. It is understandable when, with the increasing industrialisation, buildings’ energy consumption already accounts for one-third and still counting of global CO2 emissions.
Retail real estate needs Paris-Proof decarbonisation strategy, says Buildings Performance Institute Europe
24 February 2021
BPIE – Buildings Performance Institute Europe – has released a new report highlighting that despite industry efforts to decarbonise building portfolios, retail real estate asset managers and owners lack a sector-specific trajectory towards achieving climate-neutrality.
The report marks the launch of Paris-Proof Retail Real Estate, an initiative that looks to develop a vision and strategy to support the European retail real estate sector reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.
The report highlights that the current rate of decarbonisation of retail buildings is not happening fast enough to meet climate goals. Extreme weather conditions, rapidly expanding floor area and growth in demand for energy consuming services exacerbate the issue. In 2019, the global buildings and construction sector accounted for 35 per cent of final energy use and 38 per cent of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Delivering the vision of climate-neutrality requires thorough renovation and smart design of the whole building stock, including retail portfolios.
According to the report, existing low carbon transition and 1.5°C climate roadmaps are not yet fully adapted to the needs of the sector, and climate change issues are not yet fully integrated into mainstream asset management and investment decision-making processes, traditionally focused on the cyclical trends of property markets. Yet it is precisely at sector level where climate-related risks become more apparent. Interviews with ten retail property investment and management companies, which informed the report’s analysis, reveal that failure to put in place a decarbonisation strategy now could lead to value erosion and stranded assets in the years to come.
“In Europe, while GHG emissions targets are well defined for 2030 and 2050, these are not yet transposed into meaningful guidance for individual industry sectors,” says Zsolt Toth, Senior Project Manager at BPIE.
“If we are serious about decarbonising the full building stock by 2050, the retail real estate sector and policymakers need to have a common understanding of who needs to do what, and by when. The strategy should be measurable, sector-specific, and disaggregated from high-level political targets.”
Clemens Brenninkmeijer, Head of Sustainable Business Operations at Redevco, an urban real estate investment management company, agrees. “The need for deliberate actions and tangible results to significantly decrease emissions in the built environment is becoming more urgent for retail real estate managers every day. This report, funded through the Redevco Foundation, provides insight into where the retail real estate sector in particular stands, and what should be the next step.”
While this may seem evident, developing a forward-looking decarbonisation strategy for businesses amidst a changing policy landscape is not a simple exercise, says Joost Koomen, Secretary General of ECSP, the European Council of Shopping Places, representing retail and mixed use destinations and their communities.
“Aligning the broader long-term 2030 and 2050 goals with short to medium term investment decisions will be important, particularly in a rapidly changing industry that has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Koomen. “Market actors urgently need to understand how to plan for the longer term while also ensuring stability within the short to medium term.”
As BPIE’s analysis shows, most of the risks associated with climate change are expected to appear in the medium to long-term and thus are not captured by the relatively short-term models used in most current risk management practices. Data gaps, confusion of metrics and protocols, as well as the particular nature of carbon risks could give rise to a collective mis-assessment by real estate markets.
BPIE plans to launch a decarbonisation vision and strategy with the European retail real estate sector before the end of 2021. Owners and asset managers from the sector are welcome to participate in workshops and provide input in its development.
TOPHOTELNEWS‘ Projects in a Country overview: 8,000 new hotel rooms on their way to Turkey [Infographic] by Juliana Hahn is a succinct picture of the future hospitality situation of that country.
8 December 2020
Our researchers have checked the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database and found that Turkey’s hotel market will maintain consistent growth in established destinations over the coming years.
44 new hotels with 8,183 keys are in the pipeline across Turkey. We find out more about these upcoming openings.
Steady growth in the years ahead
Over the years, Turkey has established itself as a top destination for both business and leisure travellers, which has led to the country’s hotel market growing consistently. Our researchers have found that this trend is set to continue in the near future.
Five more launches with 893 rooms are still due before the end of 2020, all of which are already in the pre-opening phase. In 2021, 15 hotels with 2,254 keys will open their doors, while the country’s offering will grow by 14 properties with 2,438 rooms in 2022. Ten more projects are in the pipeline for 2023 and beyond.
The split between four- and five-star hotels will be almost even, with 21 properties falling in the four-star category and 23 in the five-star luxury sector.
Turkey’s key growth areas
The economic hub of Istanbul will get 16 additional hotels with 2,785 rooms in the coming years.
This puts it well ahead of the popular beach destination of Bodrum, which will add five properties with 493 keys. Meanwhile, the capital Ankara has three ongoing projects with 500 rooms in total.
In early 2022, Mandarin Oriental Etiler will open as part of a new luxurious lifestyle development in Istanbul’s fancy Etiler neighbourhood. There will be three towers in total, one of which will house the 409-room hotel, while the other two will be home to Mandarin Oriental-branded residences. The hotel will have three restaurants and bars, and a selection of adaptable meeting spaces with outdoor areas and terraces. There will also be a spa, fitness centre and pool.
Due to open in Q3 2022, the 240-room Radisson Hotel Apartments Delta Istanbul Esenyurt will be in the Esenyurt district, an up-and-coming area currently witnessing a veritable construction boom of new residential and retail complexes. From here, guests will have easy access to Ataturk Airport and the city centre. The hotel will be part of the Delta Holdings-managed Wish Istanbul, a 135,000 sq m mixed-use real-estate development consisting of two imposing towers, and boast an all-day-dining restaurant, a lobby lounge, a pool bar and grill, a conference centre, a spa and an outdoor pool.
Elsewhere, the 183-key Address Residence Istanbul will be part of a mixed-use development near Emaar Square and boast one of the largest shopping malls in Turkey on its doorstep, complete with a family entertainment centre, ice-skating rink and megaplex. The hotel’s crown jewel will no doubt be its spa, offering 1,000 sq m of facilities, Hammam and Rhassoul offerings, a pool with aqua tonic features, a VIP Spa Suite with six private treatment rooms, and thermal suites overlooking the city. The opening date is envisioned for late 2020.
We also ought to draw your attention to Four Points by Sheraton Kağıthane, which is primarily geared towards business guests and will offer a variety of meeting rooms and conference facilities. This 173-key property will launch by mid-2021, providing visitors with convenient access to the local business community.
The damaged buildings include 50 ancient buildings reports Hassan Darwish of Anadolu as 8,000 buildings damaged by Beirut port blast last week are increasingly showing that it is merely the result of a degree of negligence never attained anywhere else in the world.
BEIRUT: At least 8,000 buildings, including 50 ancient structures, were damaged by last week’s massive explosion at the Beirut port, according to the High Relief Commission in Lebanon (HRC) on Tuesday.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, HRC Secretary-General Mohammed Khair said the calculation of all damage from the blast will be concluded on Wednesday.
According to Anadolu Agency reporter, the scale of damage differs from one area to another.
The HRC is affiliated with the Cabinet and its functions include aid distribution and disaster management.
The government has blamed a neglected stockpile of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse for the explosion, which killed at least 160 people, injured thousands and left a vast trail of destruction across the capital.
Last Tuesday’s port blast, which rocked Beirut to its core, came at a time when Lebanon was already dealing with a severe financial crisis, and the coronavirus pandemic.
Protesters have taken to the streets with violent anti-government demonstrations for the past two days, storming official buildings and clashing with police.
*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara
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