With wildfires raging in Europe and July now confirmed as the hottest month on record, the climate crisis shows no signs of abating. According to one sustainability expert, it has never been more urgent to address how we measure and manage our planet’s real estate.
Bevan Jones, director of net zero and climate risk at sustainability services company Evora Global, said the significance of real estate in the climate crisis cannot be understated.
‘Real estate is absolutely central to tackling the climate crisis,’ said Bevan, ‘and the fact that we have just experienced our hottest month on record should really sound fresh alarm bells for those managing this mission critical sector.
‘Emissions from real estate have an enormous effect on the planet and taking clear and strategic steps to improve its impact on the world is undoubtedly one of our main priorities in this battle against climate change.
‘We know from research that real estate drives around 40% of total worldwide emissions. From manufacturing the materials used in buildings to the buildings themselves and the energy to power them, real estate determines a vast proportion of our species’ combined effect on the planet.
‘Meanwhile, estimates from COP26 suggest that $14 trillion of buildings are going to be uninsurable within 20 years if they fail to meet the required climate and efficiency standards.
‘So, not only is it in the interests of the planet but also for those managing real estate, their investments rely on properly tracking and improving their environmental credentials.’
According to Jones, the visibility of climate change should radically alter how we address this crisis. ‘The real estate market has traditionally focused on historic data,’ Bevan said.
‘But now, we are moving into a very different world, where climate change is a part of our everyday lives.
‘A planet that is too hot is dangerous and we have models telling us what is going to happen in the future.
‘These models, that we have been working with over the last 30 years, have been largely accurate. Governments and businesses would do well to start paying attention to them.’