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carbon emissions: Property developers prioritize green developments

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The growing prominence and demand for ESG investments has attracted property development companies to integrate sustainable measures into the design, construction, and operation of real estate development in the country.

To deal with the extreme climate change builders are focussing on conserving water by recycling it and using it for flushing and landscape, harvesting rainwater, radiation free building structures, green materials, and recycling organic waste and segregating waste on the development so that the amount of waste sent to the landfill is only 20 % of the standard amongst others.

“Environmental stewardship is at the core of our operations. To minimize our carbon footprint, we have implemented eco-friendly production processes and energy-efficient technologies. We adhere to stringent waste management protocols, recycling water and other materials to reduce waste. Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond our manufacturing endeavors,” said Abhijeet Gawde, head of Business Development & Marketing, Godrej Construction.

ESG encompasses a set of criteria that assess a company’s environmental, social, and governance performance. In the context of the real estate industry, these principles highlight the importance of sustainable construction, resource efficiency, social inclusivity, and ethical business practices. Implementing ESG initiatives not only benefits the environment and society but also contributes to the long-term economic viability of real estate projects.

“In alignment with Godrej & Boyce vision for a more sustainable future, we have introduced ‘Conscious Collective’ an initiative by Godrej Design Lab that seeks to bring together professionals from the industry to celebrate a conscious future,” said Gawde. Godrej Construction has set up an automated recycled concrete materials (RCM) manufacturing plant at Vikhroli, Mumbai,”

Globally, the construction sector is amongst the largest consumers of natural raw materials.As per the World Green Building Council’s report, building and construction sectors are responsible for approximately 39% of all carbon emissions in the world, with operational emissions (from energy used to heat, cool, and light buildings) accounting for 28%. The remaining 11% comes from embodied carbon emissions that are associated with materials and construction processes throughout the whole lifecycle of buildings. Increasing use of recycled construction materials, coupled with the adoption of smart building design and engineering could substantially reduce such CO2 emissions.“Green architecture is not just about individual buildings. The next decade, if I had to speculate, will involve many changes. These will include buildings that need to be built for the new patterns of behavior of the people of the cities. These include new housing, lifestyles, new shopping and recreational patterns, and the shift from manufacturing to service industries within cities,” said Brinda Somaya, Architect & Urban Conservationist, Somaya & Kalappa consultants.Agreeing with the same, Rahul Kadri, Principal Architect & Partner, IM Kadri Architects said, “To deal with extremes in weather patterns buildings are being designed to be better insulated, so heat gain is minimized and ventilated so in good weather, the reliance on AC’s is less. Since storms will be more severe due to climate change ensuring better drainage and waterproofing are also considered”.

Provident Housing said that conservation across all projects led to water savings of nearly 210 KL. The company’s effective waste management practices resulted in the repurposing of 60 loads of construction and demolition waste for roadworks at project sites.

“From FY24-25, SEBI has proposed ESG disclosures according to the BRSR Core for the top 250 companies on a comply-or-explain basis beginning in 2024, with assurance beginning the following year. While Provident Housing is not independently listed, we have started the procedure for ESG reporting. This paves the way for not only good practices but also for future readiness,” said Mallanna Sasalu, CEO of Provident Housing.

According to a 2022 global study by Deloitte, ESG performance is starting to have a measurable impact on real estate. analysis of 250 real estate companies globally, found that in 2020 and 2021, a higher percentage of real estate companies exhibited an increase in returns and valuation when their ESG performance rose compared to when it fell.

“Investors are increasingly considering ESG factors when making investment decisions. Real estate developers who align with ESG principles are likely to attract more capital and gain a competitive edge in the market. This necessitates the need for implementing robust metrics to assess their effectiveness and developers should regularly measure and report on their environmental and social impact to track progress and identify areas for improvement,” said Sunil Pareek executive director Assetz Property Group.

Interestingly, India is also looking to bring a fine balance between development and sustainability at this juncture and it’s important to incorporate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles as infrastructure development accelerates. “The country’s Net Zero by 2070 commitment is becoming a guiding principle in the development of real estate in the country. This is helping reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change while future-proofing businesses,” said Srinivasan Gopalan, chairman ArisUnitern.

Going ahead, by prioritising environmental sustainability, social inclusivity, and strong governance, developers can not only contribute to the well-being of society and the environment but also enhance their own long-term profitability and resilience. Government support, industry collaboration, and technological advancements are crucial to driving the adoption of ESG in real estate.

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