- by Rohit Poddar, Managing Director, Poddar Housing and Development
The coronavirus pandemic has caused severe hardship to the sectors all around the world, one of the most affected sectors remains to be the real estate sector. But real estate sector also is a major contributor to the various climate changes around the world and sheer utilizer of the world resources. To cope up with the ever-increasing demand for housing and balance the environment, one must start shifting their focus on sustainable living in all possible ways. Sustainable housing acts as habitable spaces where the occupants have both the opportunity and the desire to reside beyond the short-term, which is conducive to their socio-economic development and respectful of the natural environment. The underlying idea is that people should be able to maintain comfortable living standards within sustainable housing.
In India millions of people suffer from air pollution and some of the cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai are among world's most polluted cities. Another major crisis faced is the water shortages by millions of people in India.
Buildings contribute to one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions and consume 40% of the world's energy. The contribution of CO2 emissions from the real estate sector is causing an unbalance along with other industries in the climate. The construction sector in India is responsible for about 22 percent of our total emissions.
The positive change is that the consumer demand will probably shift towards more efficient properties, especially since the lockdown experience has revealed the downsides of energy-intensive buildings. When it comes to residential properties, where people will likely live and work from home, a new demand for green and efficient energy systems will pace up.
Also in the long run, real estate remains an attractive asset as compared to other investments owing to lower risk and better returns, sustainability will a play a huge role. Green housing addresses the global problem of changing climate, global warming, lack of green spaces in cities and enhance the health and wellbeing of their inhabitants. Through sustainable design, construction and operations, green buildings can reduce carbon emissions, energy and waste; conserving water; prioritizing safer materials and lowering our exposure to toxins.
Increasing temperature and climate hazards can create conditions in which the risk of pathogens being transmitted between animals and humans’ increases. As a result, pandemics will probably become more frequent in the future, if measures to reduce climate change are not taken immediately. The real estate sector has a serious impact on climate change. If the real estate and construction industries were to embrace and invest in sustainability more, it would go a long way in bringing the transformation in both our new and existing projects – through education, awareness, the evolution of the supply chain and mainstreaming of green investments.
The investments in real estate sector should first aim at making their operations sustainable and reduce the pressure on the environment as much as possible. Investors should utilise their resources for building renewable-energy infrastructure and eco green projects.
The climate crisis may be seen as a slower moving crisis than the speed of this global pandemic, but it’s long-term effects are likely to be far more threatening. Global warming is something we do not have the science, technology or funding to solve.