Real estate prosperity only through radical decarbonisation

By Ashoo Gupta, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.
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There is an urgent, crucial need for a more efficient approach to reducing carbon emissions in buildings. This approach has the potential to drive real estate portfolios towards achieving net-zero emissions while generating positive financial returns. Despite facing significant challenges, the real estate sector adopting a faster and more cost-effective strategy is crucial for accelerating efforts to combat industry global warming.

Real estate companies face challenges and encounter substantial obstacles to their decarbonisation efforts. These include perceived difficulty, high costs and a lack of centralised information across portfolios. Traditional methods involving labour-intensive physical audits and individualised net-zero plans have proven slow, costly and lacking in scalability. This casts doubt on the financial feasibility of achieving carbon neutrality. However, technological advancements in data and analytics offer a promising solution.

Ashoo Gupta, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.
Ashoo Gupta
Partner
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.

Harnessing data and analytics is a game-changing approach. Recent progress in data quantity, quality, and analytic methods provides a transformative alternative. By using a variety of data sources, from satellites to regulatory databases, and adopting artificial intelligence technology such as machine learning, real estate owners can rapidly analyse energy usage and identify emission reduction opportunities. Advanced algorithms refine solutions, enabling the achievement of net-zero emissions across portfolios in record time.

Swift and tailored planning brings financial optimisation. These capabilities enable the swift generation of financially optimised plans tailored to each building’s unique characteristics and regulatory demands. They outline specific actions, timeframes, costs, and expected effects on emissions and expenses. Plans exponentially accelerate the process of emissions reduction compared to traditional methods, providing practical strategies for prompt emissions reduction, and improved financial outcomes.

Mapping pathways to achieve zero emissions helps real estate organisations plan ahead and allocate resources wisely. This method consolidates individual building plans into detailed capital plans, enhancing energy efficiency and simplifying management tasks. By planning ahead for emissions reduction and considering costs when deciding on building occupancy or purchase, companies can streamline procurement and project management, leading to long-term cost savings.

Change is vital. The importance of a more efficient way to reduce carbon emissions in buildings cannot be overstated. With real estate worldwide contributing significantly to emissions from burning fossil fuels, it is clear that current efforts fall short of effectively combating global warming. Despite obstacles, decarbonising buildings is economically feasible. Studies show that portfolios can achieve net-zero emissions with neutral to positive returns on investment, even with conservative assumptions. Many real estate portfolios have already embraced this approach to enhance the value of their portfolios over time. They focus on implementing energy-efficient measures and electrification wisely, aligning immediate actions with regulatory compliance and long-term emission reduction plans.

Real estate companies are increasingly recognising the importance of environmental sustainability, despite facing significant challenges. Advances in data and analysis technologies, coupled with the adoption of artificial intelligence-driven decarbonisation strategies, are revolutionising the industry. Personalised plans tailored to local conditions and co-ordinated efforts to optimise energy procurement are essential for efficient decarbonisation spending. Moreover, a portfolio-wide approach and the integration of incentives for electrification and energy efficiency are key components of effective strategies.

The real estate sector is standing at a decisive moment in its journey towards sustainability. By adopting innovation, leveraging data-driven solutions, and prioritising collaboration, real estate companies can significantly reduce building emissions while driving positive financial returns. The time for action is now, and with concerted efforts the industry can lead the way in combating climate change and securing a more sustainable future.

Ashoo Gupta is a partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. Views expressed are personal.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co

Amarchand Towers, 216, Okhla Phase III,

Okhla Industrial Estate Phase III,
New Delhi, Delhi 110020
Executive Chairman: Shardul Shroff
Managing Partner: Pallavi Shroff and Akshay Chudasama

Contact details:
T: +91 11 4159 0700
E: Connect@AMSShardul.com

New Delhi | Mumbai | Gurugram | Chennai |
Bengaluru| Ahmedabad | Kolkata

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