Europe

Green buildings better investments

For many years, the argument against green strategies was that they didn't pay back, but against the backdrop of Verizon's first green bond issue, which was eight times oversubscribed and the company's most popular security ever sold, it is clear that this is changing. 

 

There is increasing evidence that green buildings make better investments. The World Green Building Council summairsed responses to a recent survey, which found that those engaging in sustainable building technologies benefitted from:

  • Reductions in energy consumption, greenhouse gas emission and air pollutants
  • Improvements to occupier wellbeing, satisfaction and productivity
  • Strong financial returns for companies owning or occupying green buildings

 

The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing analysed the returns from nearly 11,000 mutual funds from 2014 to 2018, which found sustainable funds experienced a 20 per cent lower downside deviation to traditional funds.

As we move towards an age of greater responsibility - alongside some of the most significant, life changing advances in technology - we would all agree that a sustainable future requires more longer-term thinking, particularly from business leaders.

As voting populations become more vocal, central governments have no choice but to respond to those that put them in power and focus on long-term goals and outcomes. Just as governments must think beyond the change deemed possible in four or five years of elected office, business leaders must try to move away from the ubiquitous short-term investment models. Technological advances can no longer come at the expense of environmental or social impact. 

In terms of the real estate industry, we should consider data from the World Economic Forum, which shows that buildings consume around 41 per cent of the world's energy and contribute over 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. Estimates suggest these emissions will grow a further 56 per cent by 2030.

- In 2015 BNP Paribas became an early adopter of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Standards, which are aimed at "eradicating poverty in equality and justice and to protect the planet to get human beings to live in peace and prosperity by 2030, argues BNP Paribas Real Estate UK CEO Andy Martin. In practice, this has led to a 25 per cent reduction in carbon emissions across their estate portfolio in the last ten years. It also means they can target carbon neutrality without offsets in the core business premises by 2030.

- Investing in greener buildings and offices delivers significant financial, environmental and wellbeing

returns, concludes BNP Paribas Real Estate UK CEO Andy Martin

First cryogenic energy storage to be built in the U.K.

Energy storage company Highview Power has announced its intention to build a cryogenic energy storage facility in the north of England, a first for the U.K. A decommissioned power plant will be converted for the cryostorage, according to Highview Power. After completion, the installation will have a 50 MW/250 MWh capacity without using water, toxic materials, and with no emissions. The energy to be stored, which is roughly as much as 25,000 households use in a day, will be  all from renewable sources.

 

So how does it work?

What the storage will do is to use electricity sourced from renewable sources to compress huge volumes of air and store them in tanks. It’s a ‘cryo’ battery because there is a point, if you compress air enough, where it turns into a (very very cold) liquid; that’s the form it will be stored in. When energy is needed in the grid, the compressed air will be allowed to warm up, decompress, and escape the tanks — all while powering a turbine.

Highview Power said that they pitched the concept to the U.K. government, which is looking for ways to meaningfully reduce the country’s carbon emissions. They further note that the compressed air approach is much cleaner than conventional batteries. The cryobattery doesn’t involve the use of any toxic chemicals, it doesn’t need rare or advanced materials to be built (which means less environmental damage since you don’t need to produce and extract them), and doesn’t produce any emissions. Additionally, it can hold energy for up to several weeks at a time, which is longer than in traditional batteries.

 

Energy storage installations around the world will multiply exponentially, reaching 1,095GW/2,850GWh by 2040. Over the next two decades, $662 billion of investment will be needed for stationary energy storage, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF)

 

“Long-duration, giga-scale energy storage is the necessary foundation to enable baseload renewable energy and will be key to a 100% carbon free future.”, says Highview Power CEO, Javier Cavada

Does a Data Breach Impact Such a Newly-Loved Brand Like Monzo?

Monzo is best known as a neo-bank disrupting the norm, developed for the smartphone generation, and removing the need for physical branches, cheque books and call centres. The entire principal is based around its app with a focus to build the best current account in the world. They have a vision to become an intelligent hub for your entire financial life. Monzo has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2015, with more than 2 million customers in the UK – and adding to that, a unicorn value. Recently they have announced a formal expansion into the U.S market. The work began several months ago and will see a U.S Monzo app and Mastercard debit card made available at pop up sign-up events around the country. The initial launch will see just a few thousand card issues with a waiting list in advance of a wider national launch. 


Source: Thefinetechtimes

Natural capital can be the bedrock of good business

With the right digital tools, natural capital approaches can transform a business' relationship with nature, argues AECOM's Robert Spencer. 
With climate change and biodiversity urgently becoming a focal point for all UK businesses, the way in which the industry interacts with nature is significantly changing and will continue to transform...

 

Source: Business Green

Merkel's Bavarian allies call for German climate bond

FRANKFURT - Germany’s Christian Social Union (CSU), the sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), are planning to launch a climate bond to help fund its efforts to reduce emission targets. “Climate change needs billions of euros of investment in climate friendly technologies,” Alexander Dobrindt, a senior lawmaker from the CSU Bavarian party in Merkel’s coalition, told the weekly Bild am Sonntag.

Source: Reuters

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