The Most Important Initiative Of My Career.
The real estate industry is one I love, am grateful to, and have been deeply committed to for almost thirty-five years. There is so much to admire about this industry, from the big ideas that visualize spaces before they come to life to the big thinkers who build great structures, communities, and cities. This industry continues to prove its resilience by weathering storm after storm and succeeding despite each challenging market cycle.
But, I have come to realize (albeit late as usual), that the industry has also been avoiding some hard truths. As discussed in my recent conversations with Brendan Wallace, Co-Founder of Fifth Wall, and many others like my friend Lindsay Baker, the real estate industry contributes nearly 40% of all greenhouse emissions annually.
Let that sink in.
Here are some more stats:
- The real estate sector accounts for 35% of the world's energy consumption
- New construction annually contributes over 3.7 billion metric tons of embodied carbon emissions
- Climate change may result in $135 billion in property damage by 2045
On a personal level, I stress about the environment daily. Climate change will continue to wreak havoc, and I am terrified thinking of the world we will leave for our kids and future generations. For me, nature soothes my soul. It’s my zen garden. I am blessed to have land that I escape to as often as I can just to get lost in the beautiful marvels of nature.
But in my professional life, these two passions (real estate and the environment) have always been two distinct compartments. One work. One pleasure.
Until now! I am therefore proud to announce the launch of CREtech Climate.
With our launch of CREtech Climate, I am finally doing something about climate change, sustainability, and ESG in the Built World. My goal is to leverage our massive audience at CREtech.com and build a new, expanded, global community of tech startups, corporate leaders, real estate executives, academia, associations, and government.
And because this mission is too big for one person and one company, I am grateful to have the support of those leading the way in addressing climate change, sustainability and ESG in the Built World. In collaboration with Fifth Wall, CREtech Climate is supported by our Founding Sponsors including, Oxford Properties Group, RXR, EY and Savills. These organizations exemplify the leadership needed to advance our industry and address these critical issues that impact the world at large.
What CREtech Climate subscribers will get…
We will follow the successful CREtech playbook...a daily, curated newsletter, webinars covering timely topics, and our great virtual summits that continue to get terrific feedback. As always, I will make myself available to anyone who is just as passionate and committed! For those on the tech side, we need to help you broadcast your products and solutions. Additionally, if your real estate company is contributing a lot to tackling these issues, we, of course, want to hear from you as well.
For me, I will commit to being a determined advocate within the real estate industry and communicate that the industry has the moral responsibility to adopt and invest in sustainability, ESG, and climate tech in a meaningful and measurable way. I will also push ideas that demonstrate the extraordinary financial opportunities and incentives that the industry can experience by investing in these technologies.
It’s your turn to act now.
The real estate industry has more at stake than any other industry. Not only will we see governments get more active in mandating existing spaces and new developments that are carbon neutral but tenants are demanding it as well. And thank goodness the next generation is more serious about this than anyone!
But we need to act now! Our industry can, should, and will lead the way in addressing climate change, building in a more sustainable manner, and supporting all things ESG. And not just in some PR or greenwashing kind of way. Real change. Measurable progress.
The world will be watching how we as an industry respond. But also, more importantly, how we as humans respond.
The late singer Harry Chapin once said, “Do Something”.
I am. I hope you will join me.