BNP PRE is dedicating its new Buzzwords issue to low-carbon initiatives in the real estate sector. This includes an exciting interview with Christophe Girard (European Head of Sustainability, BNP Paribas Real Estate Property Management), who discusses ESG regulations and the implementation of new tools to manage the performance of real estate assets. To gain a better understanding of the challenges of integrating these sustainable processes to reduce carbon emissions, today, we explore this strategic topic.

Understanding the ESG criteria

The objectives of this approach applied to real estate

E (Environmental), S (Social) and G (Governance) criteria are generally incorporated in socially responsible investment (SRI) strategies.

In a building, the environmental and social aspects focus on reducing the building’s carbon footprint, preserving biodiversity and improving user comfort. The governance aspect is generally implemented by the management company through its CSR policy.

Today, property managers are therefore increasingly asked to support their clients in defining their ESG needs and implementing concrete solutions. This is especially the case today with the European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive 2022/2464, which requires companies to provide real data on the initiatives put in place in each building to target long-term environmental performance.

Digital tools to manage responsible real estate assets

To reduce a building’s carbon footprint, action levers are applied at all stages of the building’s life cycle, from construction or redevelopment to operation: use of bio-sourced materials, insulation, clean energy production, heating and cooling systems, hot water production, LED lighting, etc.

In order to accurately assess the results of these initiatives, it is therefore necessary to collect and analyse building data. This includes the integration of digital tools (electricity meters, temperature sensors, building management systems, etc.) that enable the manager to work transparently and accurately to improve a building's performance.

ESG initiatives now at the heart of global real estate strategies

The assessment of buildings' ESG performance is now central to real estate strategies. These digital tools that enable us to manage the achievement of each environmental objective optimise the longevity of assets and their valuation, as Christophe Girard points out in the new issue of BuzzWords: "It’s important to remember that it’s more costly to do nothing to a building than to spend money on the infrastructure needed to reduce carbon emissions." In addition, these tools also measure the satisfaction of the building’s occupants in terms of well-being and quality of life at work.

The implementation of ESG approaches and rigorous monitoring of their performance therefore promotes the emergence of resilient buildings, which are more pleasant to live in every day, and also support our companies' positive transformation towards an increasingly sustainable world.