Building the technology and supply chains needed for Net Zero 2050

By Jan N. Meertens and Shariq Kochhar
Digital artwork of a laptop

For the UK to meet net-zero emissions by 2050, approximately 29 million homes must be retrofitted with low-carbon solutions. That’s 9 out of 10 buildings in need of digital retrofits and ironically, technology poses one of the biggest barriers to achieving this.

Simply put, there isn’t enough accurate data on current building performance to assess the extent of current investments. And the further technological investment required to resolve this issue creates a desire to reduce costs – at the expense of quality – which risks the entire reputation of real estate. Add to this the fact that contractors today are better versed in gas boilers than newer heat pump technologies and you might have a skills shortage in your retrofits supply chain as well. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Not the way we see it at Plentific.

Our journey began with using technology to support sustainable service delivery by connecting local trade specialists with remedial works in their areas. The goal being to boost energy efficiency in the supply chain and reduce costs that our clients could reinvest towards greener portfolios. Net Zero drives us to work even more closely with landlords, property managers, energy consultants and tradespeople to reinforce our technology – creating solutions for planning, execution and improved monitoring of retrofits within our existing products. We combine this with a marketplace that keeps green jobs open to all, ensuring workers in high carbon sectors can successfully transition – thereby reducing their barriers to recruitment, retention, and progression in green jobs.

We are not alone. More Proptech companies are tackling the challenges presented by climate change. Systems that create energy dashboards, evaluate emissions, and analyse property data in order to identify emission reduction possibilities are becoming more ubiquitous. How these systems can connect and work together to achieve an ambitious decarbonisation goal is a further prospect we are exploring.

In the near future, we want to support landlords to analyse their portfolio emissions, freshwater usage and determine the full impact they are having on their environment and the biodiversity within. Our services will become even more ambitious and data-driven, with a vision to include the development of dynamic retrofit KPIs that are established on legal regulations, portfolio standards and the environmental ambitions of all our clients and stakeholders. Alongside, we will continue to strengthen our contractor network, ensuring it possesses the skills necessary to work with newer heating technologies and that it is resilient to demand fluctuations.

It still stands that nearly 30% of energy in UK buildings is wasted and that over a tenth of total building CO2 emissions are linked to construction materials such as steel, cement, and glass. New research with 850 businesses across the UK also reveals that only 20% have started measuring energy consumption and are not aware of the level of waste they create. However, we, alongside Proptech as an industry, are changing this through digital transformation. It is encouraging to find that almost half (42.8%) of these same companies have ramped up digital transformation efforts and are gearing up to measure and maintain greener portfolios.

Keeping track of portfolio development towards Net Zero is a goal we are moving clients closer to, but also one we measure ourselves by. We believe that on the pathway to Net Zero 2050, profits and purpose must become synonymous.

 

For more information, go to www.plentific.com/en-gb/.

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