How Zurich goes net zero with a cutting-edge, data-driven approach

Zurich Insurance is Switzerland’s largest insurer with a clear focus and intention on sustainability-driven developments. The Group is committed to using every lever available – investments, operations, and products and services – to accelerate the transition to a net-zero emission economy. Zurich is setting new climate targets for its investments and operations and, crucially, will help finance the transition and require the companies it invests in to set targets aligned with the Paris Agreement.

The action plan is part of Zurich’s ambition to be one of the most responsible and impactful businesses in the world. The measures underscore a commitment made in 2019 when Zurich became the first insurer to sign the Business Ambition for 1.5°C Pledge to limit global warming.

COO and Head Product Development Global Real Estate Roger Baumann: „In managing its real estate assets Zurich Insurance Group proactively integrates Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into the investment process alongside traditional financial metrics. Together with BuildingMinds, we leverage the power of ESG data to realize effective emission reductions through data modelling and reduction scenario analytics.”

The targets address three key areas on the road to decarbonization: emission reduction in the portfolio and engagement with companies to bring about change and direct investment in solutions.

Together with BuildingMinds, we leverage the power of ESG data to realize effective emission reductions through data modelling and reduction scenario analytics. Roger Baumann COO and Head Product Development Global Real Estate at Zurich

The project with BuildingMinds

Together with BuildingMinds, Zurich has set out to collect, analyze and visually present all insights needed for an effective decarbonization plan for it’s owned and managed real estate assets. The project focuses on the Swiss-based portfolio and is broken down into two main workstreams:

Determination of the operational carbon footprint for real estate assets

Connecting all data in one repository, Zurich is calculating the carbon footprint of their Swiss portfolio, across its scopes 1,2 and 3 – and projecting its future carbon footprint based on its current trend. An automated, detailed data analysis based on market and location, and for portfolio, sub-portfolios, business units, regions or individual buildings makes it possible to optimize the building and portfolio performance based on advanced benchmarks.

Mitigation of future risks and value preservation: Carbon risk monitoring & management

With the BuildingMinds solution, Zurich benchmarks building carbon performance against the CRREM decarbonization pathways (Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor) and calculates their real estate assets’ exact stranding moment and its implications. With carbon taxation cost simulations from portfolio down to single building level, Zurich determines the financial impact on the portfolio value. Energetic retrofit simulations allow to compare the impact of planned energetic retrofits and to determine the best course of action with regards to a decarbonization roadmap ensuring both sustainability and business resilience.

BASF – driving change in the corporate real estate sector

BASF is one of the world’s leading producers of chemicals with a worldwide portfolio of production facilities and offices – totaling more than a thousand buildings. Corporate real estate management at BASF ranges from development to utilization to disposal and comprise strategic tasks from site/property selection over building/facility services management to transactions or re-development.

Complex challenges requiring innovative solutions

Managing such a number of sites, people and processes naturally comes with an endless amount of data as well as various systems. A major pain point is isolated data silos especially in the sectors of building operation costs, sustainability, contracting and the variety of CAFM systems from service providers.

Digital transformation is the path forward

The co-innovation project with BuildingMinds is driving digital transformation of the Corporate Real estate management. Their common goal is to combine a proof of concept for step-by-step integration of all data sources into one single platform in order to manage all related processes with one solution in the future, as well as setting up Digital Building Twins and addressing issues such as leasing data, sustainability and workflow management.

Alstria – better building management in Germany

With a portfolio of over one hundred buildings and over 1.5 million sqm in five main regions across Germany, Alstria is one of the leading German real estate investment trusts with a focus on managing office buildings throughout their entire lifecycle.

Centering sustainability for both business and society

Being a major pillar of both Alstria’s and BuildingMinds’s DNA, sustainability is at the core of the joint co-innovation project with a clear goal of impacting the entire real estate industry.

A joint team of 20 people is constantly working on three work streams, which focus on the further development and definition of the Common Data Model, sustainability, document classification, and authorization concept.

Schindler – pioneering transformation of physical assets into digital ones

Schindler is one of the world’s leading providers of elevators, escalators, and moving walkways, as well as maintenance and modernization services. The Schindler Group has over 1000 branch offices in more than 100 countries, as well as production sites and research and development facilities in the US, Brazil, Europe, China, and India.

Planning a revolutionary step in Schindler real estate

With the renovation of the Schindler Campus in Berlin, Schindler has set out to go beyond a mere update of their physical assets. With digitalization in every detail and from the outset, Schindler sets an example and creates a proof-of concept for advanced building management in the digital age.

A team of thirty from Schindler and BuildingMinds are working on a co-innovation project which comprises the creation of a Digital Building Twin for three pilot buildings on the Schindler Campus. The projects consist of core work streams, representing the basis of real estate digitalization projects:

  • Digital Building Twin – including creation of a 3D BIM model
  • Capturing technical building equipment and integrating it into the 3D BIM model
  • IoT – space & equipment utilization
  • Integration of 3rd party systems
  • Energy monitoring & well-being

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