"ESG," the acronym for "Environmental, Social and Governance," has become an important consideration for businesses around the world.
Even before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, 'environment' and 'sustainability/ ESG' topics were steadily making their way to the top of forward-thinking in the commercial real estate industry.
The real estate industry, over the years, has adversely impacted the environment from resource overconsumption to pollution to harmful emissions. However, with the renewed emphasis on health in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and greater environmentalism in response to the environmental emergency and to offer "concrete hope" to future generations 'sustainability' has become the new priority for the commercial real estate industry.
With progressively extreme climate conditions as of late and the Covid pandemic, the connection between general wellbeing and the spaces where people reside, work, and unwind has become clearer to people both within and out of the real estate industry.
As businesses move to reduce their impact on the planet and environment, there is a growing realisation that commercial and industrial buildings are responsible for 40% of global energy consumption. In fact, the need to act on climate has never been more urgent and the business case for green/sustainable building has never been so compelling with more investors, owners, and tenants pursuing environmentally-friendly strategies to reduce the impact on the environment, lower operating costs, and boost property values.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification has become an accepted standard globally for rating residential and commercial buildings. LEED-certified commercial buildings benefit from the use of sustainable building features such as smart HVAC systems and LED lights that help in reducing operating costs through lower energy use thereby increasing profitability. These buildings minimize the ongoing risk of dealing with ever-tightening environmental restrictions and regulations and contribute to higher real estate values.
As per a report by Deloitte, green buildings are estimated to consume 29 to 50 percent less energy than "non-green" buildings; use 40 percent less water; emit 33 to 39 percent less CO2 and generate about 70 percent less solid waste. Considering that these utility costs positively impact commercial real estate company's profits, it makes complete business sense to adopt green building standards/practices. Other benefits of green buildings include the ability to attract and retain high-quality tenants who are willing to pay a premium for such space.
Bharti Realty believes that as a responsible corporate citizen/organization operating in the domain of developing and managing the built environment, we have a significant role to play towards achieving urban sustainability. And to achieve this goal, we have integrated various facets of environmental, social, and governance practices in our operations.
Through an integrated design process, right from the construction and into operations we can create buildings that are energy efficient and sustainable. For example, the use of fly ash in concrete in structural works to reduce the cement requirement lowers the requirement of clay, sand, and limestone that goes into cement manufacturing thereby conserving natural resources.
With the use of high-end façade with unitized/semi-unitized stone/glass panels that function as innovative building envelopes for maximum use of natural light and reducing solar heat absorption, the buildings are designed to achieve at least 24% energy savings. We also adopt and implement environmentally sound waste management practices which leads to an efficient collection and recycling of over 90% of construction waste.
This is not all. The buildings are intelligently equipped with telecommunications infrastructure to adapt easily and economically to changing conditions.
In line with our 'green' commitment, we have developed Worldmark - India's first Platinum LEED pre-certified mixed-use commercial building. Our environment friendly practices in Worldmark buildings result in superior energy efficiency, sustainability, and superior indoor air quality - providing occupants a healthy working environment, and improved employee productivity for tenants.
There are various other aspects that we take into consideration to keep our green commitment. These include replacing plastic bottles with glass bottles, use of biodegradable elements, high-speed hand dryers to cut down the usage of paper towels, rainwater harvesting, use of eco-friendly refrigerants in chillers, investment in/use of environmentally conscious materials, processes and technologies, use of renewable energy sources such as solar energy, use of low VOC (volatile organic compounds) components and more.
Bharti Realty is relentless in its pursuit to improve processes and become more sustainable. We owe our success to the land and communities, around us/our properties, towards whom our supporting and nurturing initiatives are directed. It has been our continuous and permanent endeavour to contribute to the socio-economic development of our neighbouring communities to uplift their quality of life.
Sushil Kumar Sayal
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