How can the real estate sector tackle climate change?

4 min read
Jan 27, 2021 7:30:00 AM

Heatwaves, unusual storms, and rising sea levels. Climbing apartment building prices, fluctuating insurance rates and mortgage pricing. Climate change will affect all major sectors of our society.

The real estate sector is pushed to take part in climate actions with a set of regulations, objectives, and incentives, and it’s all just a beginning. Within the next ten years, 30 million European consumers will need to charge their cars. The most convenient place for charging for most of them happens to be in the parking lot of a residential building or workplace. 

With the right solutions, real estate businesses can benefit from clean energy transition.

CHALLENGE: How the real estate sector can adapt to climate change? 

Climate change has significant implications for real estate assets and locations over the short, medium, and long term. In 2021, international efforts for mitigation and regulation are likely to find a new footing, but the level of commitment varies among countries and regions. In Europe, regulations are stringent and plans ambitious. Various new taxation systems based on CO2 emissions will be introduced during this decade. On top of all, European Union has been planning a taxonomy system that is soon disclosed. 

Many EU member countries have committed to a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 or even sooner. Some companies and investors have committed to being climate neutral by as soon as 2030 or 2035. 

The Asia Pacific, Japan, and South Korea are aiming to be net-zero carbon by 2050, and China by 2060. In the U.S., there has been a slew of recent state and city regulations, and the expectations for the future administration to prioritize the issue are high.

However, legislation alone will not hold back all the physical effects of climate change. Extreme events, such as floods and wildfires, or slow-onset processes, meaning heat waves, droughts, and rising sea levels, will affect home prices, insurance, and mortgage pricing and availability.

These factors will influence decisions about whether to stay or migrate, presenting investors with a range of new scenarios and risks to consider.


How to charge all these electric cars?

You don’t need a crystal ball to anticipate the growing consumer demand for electric vehicle charging. In addition to governmental and local decisions, some of the biggest automakers have made their vows to stop manufacturing combustion engine vehicles. When these decisions begin to affect everyday life, an increasing number of consumers will require their everyday parking spots to be equipped with chargers. 

Real estate owners have probably already noticed this increasing demand from customers and tenants – people want to charge their cars effortlessly. It’s fair to say that being green, emission-free and as sustainable as possible is a thriving trend. Consumers are demanding sustainability progressively from all products and services they use, including places they live, work and spend their money at.

More and more cars need to be charged efficiently – and preferably with clean energy. 

SOLUTION: Adapt and prevent – Join the smart energy revolution

Real estate sector players need to respond to the demand of investors by ensuring assets are managed responsibly and sustainably. 

We at Virta expect that real estate assets will play a growing role in ESG and impact portfolios. Furthermore, we believe responsible investing will no longer be considered an additional, complementary plan but an integrated part of company strategies. 

Regulations and global pressure are not the only spurs for building owners to invest in sustainable solutions. Following current and upcoming regulations is a must, but with certifications and self-imposed climate actions real estate businesses can gain financial advantages, and increase in value as well as reputation. Different green certificates are often mandatory in receiving or applying for funds and allowances in construction or renovation.


Not just extra costs – Control OPEX and protect NOI with EV charging business

EV charging stations are an investment that will pay itself back – financially, and in reputation. Sustainability and climate change emission mitigation are values that consumers appreciate. For residential buildings, EV charging can become an important selling point as both apartment buyers and leaseholders are looking for places with an opportunity to charge conveniently. 

With Virta’s smart charging solutions, the real estate owners can define charging prices themselves, and this way control the operating expenses. With reasonably priced charging, building users can for instance pay the EV charging investment back to the building owner. 

Smart charging in smart buildings

A smart grid, that consists of new technologies connected together, is a vital element of carbon-neutral energy production. Smart solutions add resiliency to our electric power system and help to address our aging energy infrastructure. 

We believe that the future energy system requires us to look at things as one system, not sector by sector. The property sector has a unique chance to help build a fossil-free future by capitalizing and joining the EV charging business. 

With Virta’s smart solution, EV charging is always controllable. Smart charging features, such as congestion management enable the highest energy consumption peaks to be cut down. This way, the total load of the building can be pushed down and EV charging doesn’t cause a situation where the building owner should pay more for the grid owner or the energy company.  

The greatest thing is that with smart charging, electric car batteries can store renewable energy when the production is high, and when the consumption peaks, energy can be used to relieve pressure on the energy market. Basically, when you install smart charging stations, you simultaneously support the decarbonization of the energy system, as more renewables can be implemented when the grid is more resilient. This is something that also affects your building's carbon footprint, and could potentially improve the criteria for receiving funding.

Real estate business is better, stronger and greener with Virta

  • Meet the requirements and take part in reaching global climate goals 
  • Answer to the growing demand for sustainable solutions 
  • Make selling and trading energy a new revenue source for your business 
  • Control your OPEX & protect NOI 
  • Scalable framework for multiple locations and countries 
  • Enjoy the synergies of Virta’s business-as-a-service solution: You save costs and get accelerated time to market 
  • One dashboard backed up with big data to prove your KPIs are met

Future Proof your Real Estate Business