Close up picture of a electric vehicle charger station symbol on a green background, captured in Lugano (Ticino) - Switzerland

It’s always good to see the big commercial property agents do good work in sustainability. After all they are the ones with the biggest power. Try to get them to own up to it and you’ll probably draw a blank.

Influence is best done invisibly. A subtle thing. But think about who the big property investor or even home owners listen to when they’re deciding how much money to put into a property, even what colour to paint the house.

So it’s good to see CBRE Investment Management take a plunge into a direct green energy investment with its stake in Green Peak Energy, a specialist in behind-the-meter and rooftop solar solutions for commercial and industrial properties.

Asif Hussain, CBRE

According to Asif Hussain, managing director for Direct Private Infrastructure Investments at CBRE IM the move was a logical choice.

“We see strong tailwinds in this sector with C&I (commercial and industrial) customers increasing their focus on lowering their carbon footprint and adopting behind-the-meter renewable energy solutions.  The Green Peak Energy team has built a strong business delivering power purchase agreement solutions to help lower energy costs for their customers.”

The announcement is all part of a bigger trends.

We got a taste of this last week at our Moonshot 2030 event where we heard from Taronga Ventures and the way it engages with big property owners to invest in new technology, much of which will have sustainability dividends.

The more we engage agents in this process, the faster we will move

Carsales goes to the bright light side

Perhaps even more influential than real estate agents in tipping the scales our way is when the other big chunk of agents get with the program – those who sell cars. Because nothing  touches the consumer market in quite the same way as the wheels we use to get around.

So the Electric Vehicle Council on Wednesday was rightly chuffed to announce its newest member is carsales, “ the largest online automotive classifieds business in Australia”.

OK, so now we know that electric vehicles won’t ruin the weekend, and that our PM Scott Morrison while never actually resiling from his former antipathy to EVs is now sort of supporting them, it’s ok guys and gals to step out and show your green colours.

The move follows the EVC and carsales recent consumer attitudes survey, finding that more than more than half of Australian drivers are considering purchasing an electric vehicle as their next car.

EVC chief executive Behyad Jafari said: “Nobody understands Australian drivers and their preferences better than carsales.

“carsales has decades of passion and know-how and access to a wealth of data about what Australians like – and what they don’t – when it comes to cars, and the ability to tap into consumer habits around buying and selling.

“We all know the future of driving is electric, but how we get there is incredibly important.”

“It will be terrific to be able to draw on the knowledge and experience of the carsales team as we work toward our mission of electrifying the Australian fleet.”

carsales managing director, Australia, Ajay Bhatia, said his organization was seeing “significant momentum” in the electric car space.

Interesting that one of the joint winners in our pitchfest at last week’s Moonshot 2030 event on eco prop tech, Everty’s Carola Jonas, asked what the biggest pain point was with her EV charging solution, said that Australians had little idea how fast EVs would arrive.

After this announcement and the data from the survey, we can see what she’s getting at.

New report pinpoints the drivers in sustainability

And in another kind of “driving” towards sustainability (if you’ll pardon the stretched analogy) is the sentiment that’s getting businesses to switch to greener solutions.

A new report has landed on regulation and market forces as key with 92 per cent of businesses surveyed in the report citing these as key factors. Investor relations were cited by 87 per cent of businesses as key drivers and competitive advantage coming in a close third with 80 per cent.

The report from Autodesk in collaboration with Frost & Sullivan, Enabling a Sustainable Future through Digitalisation: Trends driving the Design & Manufacturing and Architecture, Engineering and Construction Industries in APAC, looked at companies across architecture, engineering, construction, design and manufacturing in the Asia Pacific region.

The report said APAC now contributed “53 per cent of global GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, producing 18.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020 – more than the cumulative emissions from the rest of the world. Manufacturing and construction, and the building industry account for 17 per cent and 4 per cent GHG emissions in APAC respectively”.

The report authors also cited research from the COP26 summit that said “Australia leads the world in GHG emissions from coal per capita. In addition, about 28 per cent of electricity production in Australia in 2020 was from renewable energy sources, far below the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s average of 40 per cent.”`

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