Creating a sustainable future, one green building at a time
RMB presents ESG Matters, a brand-new video series interrogating how Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) issues shape business and finance today.
"We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it,” said former US President Barack Obama. The quote echoes the seriousness of climate change and reminds us that it’s not too late to build a sustainable future.
A green building goes beyond just the aesthetics, but also refers to buildings that minimise water and energy usage.
Supply chain management, environmental impact and building materials all contribute to the eco-friendliness of a structure, according to Dylan Stevenson, Co-Head of Real Estate Investment Banking at RMB.
Stevenson’s fellow Co-Head, Riyaad Khan mentions the EDGE green building certification system, which helps maintain the eco-friendliness within the residential space. EDGE aims to make the construction process easier, faster and more affordable while taking a metrics-driven approach to corporate sustainability strategies.
In this episode, The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield and panel of experts discuss how constructing green architecture can help ensure a more sustainable tomorrow.
Currently, there are about 1400 commercial buildings that are approved on an annual basis according to Stats SA and only about 2 - 3% are certified as green buildings, says Danielle Frank, Sustainable Finance and ESG Advisory at RMB. Frank also notes that change is upon us in this regard as net zero commitments of various tenants look to impact the way that real estate clients think about the “greenness” of their buildings.
We are actually anticipating, that by 2030 most new buildings should be developed in line with net zero standards and by 2050, we further anticipate that all buildings new and existing should somewhat reach a stage where they are of a green nature.Danielle Frank, Sustainable Finance and ESG Advisory at RMB
The ‘Social’ aspect of ESG comes into play when you consider the housing challenges throughout South Africa, and the increase in green buildings could help navigate funds towards this issue.
Social housing. Affordable Housing. These are all sectors which are kind of looking deeply into themselves and saying, ‘How do we attract more capital towards these sectors?’, and obviously the ESG theme is critical and key in terms of how the world is looking around the allocation of capital.Dylan Stevenson, Co-Head of Real Estate Investment Banking at RMB
Keeping in line with a lot of the themes that have played out globally, RMB have moved away from being a shareholder-centric organisation to being a stakeholder-centric one. This change in thinking has also trickled down to their clients, says Khan.
He says what they are seeing an economic imperative from a client perspective. To ensure that their products – such as property sale and rental – have a great fit in the market while also appealing to tenants, providing ESG compliant solutions is of utmost importance.
Khan says by incentivizing the adoption of ESG, they are able to drive the right behaviour.
He added that, at RMB, they hope to facilitate an adoption of ESG practices for their clients and have a greater societal impact with their latest sustainability linked finance products.