The Greta Thunberg’s speech, free animals running in urban environments during confinement, responsible food, the United Nations 2030 agenda, and the business community’s involvement with sustainability are not isolated events. These events mark a new priority in the world: preserving the home where we live for future generations. 

There is much talk about the Millenials mentality change. In general, we can say that the younger generations, at least today, care more to improve the world we live than to generate wealth. Besides, millennials will soon be the great heirs of the baby boomers, mostly when we talk about the real estate world. The mentality of both generations is entirely different. 

The global energy data related to real estate is dramatic! According to a study carried out by the United Nations in 2019, real estate consumes 40% of worldwide energy and represents more than 20% of international carbon emissions. This information undoubtedly reveals that global real estate stock is a significant contributor to global warming. 

In a MIPIM conference held a few months ago, Anthony Slumberg (one of the world’s leading proptech influencers) pointed out a sentence from Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, who said: “Climate risk is investment risk.”

When it is the economy that worries about the climate, pay attention! Because that issue becomes critical, and solutions and new business opportunities begin to emerge.

The real estate market is increasingly modulating with customers’ needs. Today we no longer have a choice. All the proposals must provide added value to the market and be beneficial to society. 

What can proptech do? 

  • Be more digital; avoid transport and travel, thus avoiding pollution.
  • Encourage sustainable and smart buildings that have better control over their use.
  • Raise awareness in society and professionals about real estate energy consumptions.
  • Review the materials and means used in construction and propose smart alternatives since currently used materials such as cement, aluminum, and PVC have a devastating effect on the environment.
  • Use data to be more efficient in construction and on the assets use.
  • Reduce construction waste, which currently represents 30% of total solid waste and 20% water pollution.
  • Encourage blockchain to have more information and traceability of assets and their use being more efficient, controlling emissions, and waste.
  • Promote efficient mobility in cities. 
  • Propose alternatives to increase air quality

It is a time of change, in which society is more aware, caring for the environment. Covid-19 has accelerated this trend. It is the responsibility of all the players in the real estate market; this is a much bigger task, the responsibility of taking care of The Earth, the place where we live.

Sheila Gracia

Director of Services of the API collective in Catalonia