Sustainability is one of the issues that will play a major role in future – including in the real estate industry. Maria Hill, Director Sustainability & Corporate Communications at ECE, talks about sustainability in the era of the coronavirus, the European Union’s Green Deal, and the role of renewable energy sources at ECE.
What is the Green Deal?
In Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, we have a woman leading Europe who is bringing the issue of sustainability to the forefront through her Green Deal – despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The set of policy initiatives presented by the head of the Commission as the “European Green Deal” aims to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions in the EU to zero by 2050, making it the first continent to become climate neutral. This also includes sustainability in the financial system, i.e. how can we steer financial flows towards sustainability? Applied to the real estate industry, the question is how can funds be directed towards the sustainable refurbishment of existing buildings, for example. This is because existing buildings are the biggest problem. More than a third of the CO2 emissions in Germany are attributable to the operation of buildings. This means reducing CO2 emissions by existing buildings is the number one issue.
Energy efficiency refurbishment roadmap
To this end, we at ECE will be drawing up an energy efficiency refurbishment roadmap. Our colleagues from Facility Management, Architecture & Construction, and the sustainability team are working on this together with the University of Dresden. The Alstertal-Einkaufszentrum (AEZ) shopping center in Hamburg will serve as a pilot project. The objective is to create a kind of blueprint with measures for how we can refurbish existing centers to make them more energy efficient.