How can the real estate industry respond to the significant challenges we face as a society today by building for the future?
That was the overarching theme at the Estate Gazette’s Future of Real Estate event last week, which featured an inspiring selection of talks from industry leaders on some of the most important issues of our time - including climate change and mental health.
Here are our some key takeaways from the talks at the event, which were focussed on the UN’s three pillars of sustainability: Social, Economic and Environment.
Environment - At the environmental talks, we heard that as much as 40% of global carbon emissions are generated by the built environment. With this in mind, there is legislative change across the world on the horizon that will aim to address this, including the B/C Energy Performance Certificate ratings for buildings in 2030 in the UK and a climate mobilisation tax for environmentally unsustainable buildings in New York City in 2024. This complicated and significant challenge requires a multi-pronged attack, and businesses will also need to consider their own environmental footprint and how they can make a difference in the near future.
Social- As part of the social pillar, the Skullfades Foundation performed a short theatre performance to showcase the charity’s inspirational work with the homeless in Manchester. This delved into the ways in which mental health must be addressed within all Twenty-first Century businesses. Mental first aid training by all line managers as well as mental health sick day reviews are required to both help staff but also to avoid legal prosecution that can be seen in the Walker Vs Northumberland County Council where the Council lost the legal battle due to negligence of staff mental health issues caused by workplace stresses. We also heard from Aimee Cain, Head of Occupational Health & Wellbeing, Thames Water, that altering the viewpoint towards mental health within an organisation will improve staff satisfaction and therefore increase workforce efficiency.
Economic - Trevor Williams from The Economist gave an interesting talk highlighting some of the impacts Brexit may have on the real estate industry. Mr Williams gave an honest opinion, saying he believes Brexit will be extremely challenging and potentially damaging for the real estate industry. However, on the upside, Trevor gave the insight that he believes it is the best time to invest in UK property despite the current political instability.
Thanks to the Estates Gazette for hosting an amazing and inspiring event.
Re-Leased was proud to be involved as a sponsor of the tea breakfast (with our sustainable 100% compostable coffee cups on hand of course!).