Partnering with Microsoft – a cutting-edge tech and sustainability approach

BuildingMinds and Microsoft are not only partnering in the area of technology, both companies have a common goal: living and supporting environmental sustainability.

Partnering with Microsoft – a cutting-edge tech and sustainability approach

BuildingMinds and Microsoft are not only partnering in the area of technology, both companies have a common goal: living and supporting environmental sustainability.

The climb to the green top in real estate

The real estate sector has the largest ecological footprint. Buildings currently account for around 38% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions – far more than the transport sector. Energy consumption in the building sector is also enormous. Today, buildings are responsible for around 30 percent of final energy use and over 55 percent of global electricity consumption. And the world is already built. According to the EU Commission at least 80% of today's buildings will still be in use in 2050. About 75% of the world's building stock is currently energy inefficient resulting in the need to retrofit millions of buildings from now on. On the other hand, only 1% of buildings worldwide are rated carbon neutral.

Climate change poses a range of challenges for the real estate industry. On the one hand, there are physical risks such as rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events. On the other hand, the transition to a low-carbon economy comes with risks due to stricter regulatory requirements and an increased demand for sustainable buildings.

The list of reasons is endless, but it all comes down to one message: the time to move the needle is now.

Two companies, one mission

Both BuildingMinds and Microsoft have set out to push the boundaries of the industry and support customers on their decarbonization (sustainability) journey.

With a Microsoft Azure-based SaaS platform and a specialized sustainability solution, BuildingMinds provides real estate owners and investors with easily accessible and transparent information, supporting them to analyze, monitor and benchmark the environmental performance of their building portfolio. It makes it possible to analyze energy and resource efficiency, operational and embodied carbon footprints as well as CRREM-based scenario calculations for long-term carbon risk mitigation strategies.

A Common Data Model for Real Estate – and for sustainability

Basing on Microsoft’s Common Data Model concept and under the umbrella of the International Building Performance and Data Initiative, BuildingMinds and around 30 experts from the industry are developing the Common Data Model for Real Estate – a “lingua franca” specifically for the real estate industry. It enables the creation of unprecedented consistency and coherence for industry-related data and as a result, benchmarking by (inter-)national standards, the integration of industry-specific KPIs and the application of advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning within the real estate industry.

One of the central clusters of the Common Data Model is “Energy & Resources”, which is fully compatible with the Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor (CRREM). The CRREM implementation also ensures that the Common Data Model for Real Estate is compatible with common industry standards such as GRESB (The Global ESG Benchmark for Real Estate Assets), the recently piloted ECORE sustainability standard, and its scoring system. For the first time, it makes decarbonization of the building sector measurable, analyzable and most importantly targetable.

Meeting tomorrow’s expectations today

The journey to sustainable transformation is one that all organizations must take. Empowering customers around the world to reduce their carbon footprints with the power of technology is a crucial principle of Microsoft’s “carbon negative” initiative. To help business leaders take the first step, Microsoft has partnered with EY to produce an executive playbook and provides:

  • Guides for six positions across C-Suite, looking at sustainability priorities, best practices, latest insights and actionable guides for roles in finance, commercial, operations, HR and technology.
  • The most significant sustainability topics and key carbon emission contributing activities per industry – Manufacturing, Finance, Retail, Energy and Public Sector.
  • Inspiring case studies that showcase how businesses across a range of industries are using technology to introduce more sustainable ways of working.

Find out more about the International Building Performance and Data Initiative

Read Microsoft’s executive playbook for sustainability leaders

Meet BuildingMinds at Microsoft’s marketplaces

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