ESG parameters and sustainable investments are giving rise to a new positive trend for real estate investment. Their impact on the real estate market is significant and has many facets, ranging from regulatory and fiscal issues to strategic planning and operational decisions. The willingness to embrace these trends, already widespread in some countries before the pandemic, has been accelerated over the last few years and needs imminent action.

ESG and sustainable investments: the trends that will drive investors' choices

ESG parameters and sustainable investments are having a great impact on the real estate market, this can be clearly seen also in Italy, a country that is traditionally slower to react to the European countries. This thesis is confirmed by the survey conducted by CBRE Italy , Investor Intentions Survey 2022, which states that these trends will lead investors through the following year.

As stated by CBRE, this year is expected to be positive for the national commercial real estate market.

The trends that will guide investors' choices over the coming year are the following:

  • Capitals gathered through 2021 will allow to increase the acquisition activities, and lead to a higher propensity to risk
  • Investors show increasing interest in secondary locations
  • ESG parameters are now considered by most investors as one of the fundamental factors in the choice of the property to acquire, if not in some cases absolutely essential (18% of investors will not even consider real estate that does not comply with these parameters).

What is meant by ESG?

The term ESG is the acronym for Environmental, Social & Governance, a word that includes all the aspects that allow to measure the performance of a company from multiple points of view. Not only from the economic point of view but also in relation to the context that surrounds and crosses the company, both human and natural. Thus, the concept of corporate social responsibility has changed through a different comprehension of the business (and of real estate projects) that includes the effect that has in the context it operates. It is not anymore just about responsibility but of parameters of economical sustainability of a company, which today must consider the impact on the environment and the well-being of people, so as not to create disastrous uneconomic results.

This would not be possible without digital technology. The huge steps forward made by the IT sector for real estate over the last years has allowed us to prepare strategies to cope with unexpected crises such as the pandemic, or uprisings such as the climate emergency, economic instability, or social issues. From the Internet of Things (that is the insertion of intelligence into everyday objects), to the expansion of computing power in the cloud (now able to process and send great amounts of information from one part of the world to the other), the market can now advantage of whole knowledge and a responsiveness never seen before.

Digital measures the impact on the environment and automatically activates containment measures (environment), gives people the knowledge to interact easily, correctly, and move freely (social), moreover, it allows to manage the great flow that characterizes modern companies (governance), so big and independent that today the rightest word is orchestrate.

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ESG access control solution

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Technology for ESG

Technology plays a fundamental role in this context as it allows companies to differentiate themselves from the many realities in the market and embrace the specific needs of customers. Access control is a crucial technology, not only in terms of security, but also in two other fundamental aspects: the freedom to move, and the relationship between people and the spaces they live in.

The ESG parameters require that a property project aimed at economic success must integrate space management indicators that respect the need and privacy of people, and, at the same time helps people to carry out their activities in an environmentally friendly manner. Cloud access control is the only technology that allows you to meet all these requirements: installing detached intelligence on individual gates (wireless edge computing) and establishing a virtual network without limits of extension (cloud control management), cloud native access control solutions represent the necessary development platform for any ESG real estate project.

It is important to focus on the concept of virtualization, which has a decisive contribution in supporting the optimism in investor choices.

Advantages reachable with access control solutions

Environment

From the point of view ofoperations you get:

- Reduction of the materials needed for the realization of complex services such as cloud native multi-site access control systems, or international directional access networks;
- Rapid and cost-effective implementation of access control through digital technical support through the installer App and a co-design framework.

From the point of view of control you gain:

- Analysis of access to facilities both in real-time and with big data processing for the reduction of environmental impact;
- Software integration with all environmental detection, control and automation (BIM) systems.

Social

For what concernsoperations you get:

- Integrated space reservation system for self-service management of common areas and shared resources.

For what concerns controlyou get:

- Granular management of individual user permissions and roles to build the exact access chart.

Governance

Theoperations are increased thanks to:

- Virtualization of access credentials assigned to the personal account of users and capable of migrating on any media (smartphone, RFID, PIN);
- Cloud control room for remote and distributed manager operation compatible with all devices.

From the point of view of control you get:

- Management of credentials and gates in real-time to intervene in case of authorization of special accesses or removal of credentials with instant effect;
- Software integration with all modern business management systems (ERP, BIM, ...).

Further benefits to be achieved

Cost reduction: less than 75% of installed hardware

The cloud-based access control solutions allow to reach many advantages from the point of view of cost reduction, in fact, the installation, the expansion of the system, and the management of the same become smart and less expensive.

With virtualization and wireless solutions, you can reduce installed hardware by 75%:

  • Installation of the system: installation can be done faster and labor cost is reduced, considering that also the extremely reduced drilling of the doors gives rise to high energy consumption;
  • Use of the system: keyless operations lead to a reduction in costs, especially in case of lost credentials. There are also numerous advantages from the point of view of maintenance, wireless systems require a replacement of the batteries after 2 years, as the battery locks use the power only when there is a credential to read;
  • Plan extension: thanks to PropTech technology, existing devices can be reused both during the redesign and the moving the offices. In this way it is possible to add gates to the EAC system conveniently.

Installation: 80% reduction in labor costs

PropTech solutions allow you to achieve significant savings not only in terms of labor costs but also in time. The installation of smart locks takes less time, is easier, and is less invasive than traditional systems. Moreover, considering that the installation takes place in less time, staff and labor costs (working days, trips, stays) are reduced up to 80%. Cloud native systems avoid the installation of complex and expensive servers.

Energy consumption: 70% reduction in energy consumption

In a 10-year time horizon, smart locks are much cheaper, in operational and resource terms. Traditional locking systems are wired and connected to the electricity grid, so they use energy all day. Smart locks run on battery and "wake up" completely only when you need to validate access, so they consume little energy.

Moreover, wired gates require regular and specialist maintenance, while smart locks only require standard battery replacement every 2-3 years, and this can be done by the company’s regular maintenance technician.

For these reasons, wireless locks save more than 70% on energy costs.

Operations: 50% reduction in maintenance costs

With a 10-year time horizon, cloud native access control systems can eliminate infrastructure maintenance costs altogether. The intelligence provided by the cloud allows the company to eliminate the costs of installation and maintenance of the server on-site, saving up to 50% on maintenance costs.

How to embrace the 17 sustainable development goals with PropTech access control solutions

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an action program that aims to improve the three fields of sustainable development, involving: people, the planet, and prosperity. This action plan consists of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that consider in a balanced way the three different dimensions for sustainable development, namely economic, social and ecological.

PropTech technology acts as a tool that allows companies and different realities to embrace these principles to facilitate their implementation.

Sofia Locks access control solutions enable Social Housing and Affordable Housing residences thanks to the sharing of common spaces that allow therefore the reduction of the cost of housing

The new concept of property is designed for the well-being of people. Living in communities and buildings that have common areas for fitness and relaxation is important today day. Sofia Locks technology enables better management of residential and working communities, and the proper management of spaces dedicated to the well-being of people

This technology promotes the opportunity for continuous learning for everybody, as smart solutions allow to simplify management operations in student houses, by leading to a reduction in rental, management, and maintenance costs. In addition, they increase the security and autonomy of users

Sofia Locks promotes product innovation in the passive security ecosystem. Moreover, it is a supporter as a technology enabler for digital and more efficient management of residential, work, and retail spaces

Reducing inequalities within countries is another goal that can be achieved through technology, as it allows to make knowledge a good accessible to all, and to build a future that is as inclusive as possible

PropTech solutions increase the security, resilience, and sustainability of cities, while increasing inclusiveness. Technology makes it possible to see smart cities as a community where citizens, companies, and institutions work together to achieve systems integration and efficiency, citizen engagement, and the continuous improvement of the quality of life. Technology must optimize operations, simplify the lives of people and managers, reduce effort and costs, make space and resources accessible, and improve security

The access control solutions provided by Sofia Locks allow a detailed analysis of the use of buildings to optimize the use of energy within the spaces. Moreover, the integration of Presence Detection systems allows proactive management of energy-saving policies

The construction of effective, responsible, and inclusive institutions does not transcend technological innovation. This latter can lead to a reduction not only of the use of hardware, but also of CO2, by 75%, thanks to cloud native access control solutions. Moreover, it brings an increase of flexibility and modularity of the building, and provide services designed to meet the needs of individual users.