Taronga Ventures and Deloitte today published an industry whitepaper which considers the deployment of technology to drive ESG outcomes for real assets. Across the globe, we have experienced unprecedented climate events in recent years – from heatwaves in Europe, to floods in Asia and the Pacific, rising temperatures in Africa and wildfires across the Americas. Social and economic challenges also persist, with multiple flow-on impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, international conflicts, famines, and financial volatility posing threats to societal cohesion.
Real estate and infrastructure have a critical role to play in our responses to these challenges – whether it be climate resilient and low-carbon properties, nature-positive precincts, or accessible and inclusive housing. What we see today, however, is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of technology adoption for ESG outcomes.
Major global real estate corporates have contributed to the paper, including APG Asset Management, Dexus, Ivanhoé Cambridge, PGIM Real Estate and other institutional real asset owners. Michael Cummings, Co-Head Infrastructure, Dexus mentions in the paper, “There are enormous growth opportunities for real asset managers to utilise technology and innovation across their portfolios. Whether it is our nation’s airports, schools, hospitals or energy infrastructure, technology is unlocking improved outcomes for our communities. It is helping us drive better ESG outcomes through improved environmental performance and ensuring our supply chains are free from modern slavery. Investors more than ever want to see real action on ESG, and technology is helping us to make substantial and measurable progress.”
According to Taronga Ventures Managing Director, Jonathan Hannam, ESG technology solutions are important for the sector as “the major global sovereign investors and pension funds are now selecting real estate and infrastructure managers based on their ability to deliver measurable ESG outcomes – it is no longer a nice to have. At Taronga Ventures, we are seeing many exciting emerging technology companies that provide real and effective solutions, leading to ESG becoming not only a profit centre but also an area that drives innovation and change across a business.”
Improving ESG performance is central to the business strategies of global owners and managers of real assets.
Avi Naidu, Taronga Ventures Managing Director, said “Technology will be the overwhelming contributor to the step change we need to achieve our global environmental goals. We have actioned the majority of opportunities available to us purely from an operational and design perspective – leaving technology to fill the gap in solving for the negative impacts in an adequate timeframe, to leave a world which future generations can enjoy.”
Chi Mun Woo, Deloitte Australia Climate & Sustainability Partner said, “If we are to meet the aspirations set out in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, we will need to increase uptake of innovative technologies across real estate assets.
“The right technologies are the ingredients that bring everything together, whether through improved data collection and predictive capabilities, process and material innovations, sustainable design, or delivery of new services.
“Getting technology right can drive better ESG outcomes, as well as commercial returns, and presents a major opportunity for business and product differentiation and standing out in the market.”
Case studies of ESG focused technology solutions
The paper offers real world case studies of technologies applied to deliver better ESG outcomes including:
- Amazon’s HQ2 was constructed with low carbon concrete from CarbonCure, a technology that injects industrial waste CO2 into the concrete mix, saving an estimated 1,110 tonnes of CO2
- During the pandemic, Spacecube built a temporary COVID-19 hospital for Monash Health, constructed in just 15-hours and with negative air pressure to function like a respiratory ward
- PGIM Real Estate was able to remotely inspect their development in Shanghai, using reality capture technology OpenSpace, to deliver better governance of the construction project
To review all the case studies and insights from Taronga Ventures & Deloitte, click here to download a full version of the whitepaper.