Technological solutions make ESG goals more achievable

Tech solutions are making ESG goals more reachable, experts agreed at Real Asset Media´s Impact, ESG & Sustainable Development briefing, which was held at MIPIM in Cannes last week.

Arkadiusz Rudzki, Executive Vice President Leasing & Sales, Skanska Development Poland.

“I see a lot of great companies popping up with new ways of constructing using prefabs and technology,” said Jens Böhnlein, global head of asset management, Commerz Real. “Technology will help reduce our carbon footprint. Now it seems difficuglt, but in ten years´ time we will look back and be amazed at all the innovations.”

New building materials and ways of constructing are a big part of the slow but steady move towards reducing CO2 emissions.

“We wanted to be innovative, so started using green concrete, which has much lower emissions, on Generation Park in Warsaw city centre and now we use it in all our projects,” said Arkadiusz Rudzki, executive vice president leasing and sales, Skanska Office development in CEE. “In Prague we are using timber construction which is net zero, we take inspiration from the Nordics which are ahead on this.”

Existing buildings pose different challenges but can be improved by adding digitalisation, using green energy as part of the solution.

“We improve building to buy time for the next five or ten years,” said Böhnlein. “In Germany the net zero goal has been brought forward from 2045 to 2035, so there is a new sense of urgency.”

Werner Paul Boerma, CEO, ParkBee

It is a combination of interventions that added together will make a difference. 

Sometimes solutions that work do not have to be high-tech but simply innovative to make a difference.

“We know there are not enough chargers for EVs, so we target city inhabitants and invite them to charge their cars overnight in our garages and this is having a big impact,” said  Werner Paul Boerma, CEO, ParkBee. “Our app also avoids the need to drive around looking for a place to park, saving time and reducing pollution and congestion.”

Sometimes the main challenge is the time it takes to change companies’ attitudes and priorities as well as people´s habits.

“Like all disruptors, we have to keep pushing the message and persuade people that we give them an opportunity to change their behaviour¨, said Boerma. ¨Once they have been converted they adapt quite happily and it quickly becomes the new norm. Now we are scaling up and looking to expand throughout Europe.”