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Climate change: you can’t fix what you don’t measure

At Landmark, we want to do all we can to act in the name of climate change, and to make a difference. Our Pledge to Net Zero – the first UK property data business to do so – was a first step.  

Next, we reached out to our colleagues across the property and real estate industry to explore how the community is mitigating climate change and working to build a better planet. 

After conversations with experts innovating and rethinking the property landscape for a better future, we shared our learnings in our ​​Climate Change Reports: The New Frontier of Real Estate Due Diligence paper. 

Innovation heating up 

One of the most forward-looking discussions we had was with CEO and co-founder Anthony Baker and Quant ESG analyst Nell Agate Tsui at Satellite Vu. They gave us an equally stark and promising glimpse into fuel use, misuse and poverty across the UK and beyond.  

They explained how they can draw energy insights and nuanced data using high-resolution thermal data from space. The approach holds the key to understanding the bigger picture and to identifying and mitigating climate risk at scale. 

More than physical 

But as far as they’re concerned, physical risks are not the only threat we should be preparing for: “The UK real estate sector is facing a tidal wave of transition risk; it is inevitable that new policies and regulations will be incoming if the government is to have any hope of ensuring ‘only’ a two-degree rise in global temperatures above industrial levels by 2100.” 

So, Satellite Vu’s experts ask, are the policies that are already live actually working or, indeed, relevant? Residential targets for higher EPC ratings, for example, have been widely reported in the property industry, yet there is currently no centrally agreed, concrete framework in place to get the industry there. And since not every building has or is mandated to have a valid EPC right now, there is much that we don’t know – and we can’t fix what we don’t measure. 

“Unless the real estate sector expands the collection of key performance metrics, it will be hard to ascertain if the targets set for 2035 have been satisfied.” 

Look to the skies 

The authors argue we need new approaches to climate change reporting. Satellite data, for instance, can enable a macro-scale viewpoint on energy use and can make it possible to identify issues at national, local, street and building by building level – and complement current reporting. Independent satellite-obtained energy performance data could validate and greatly augment information from EPCs, on an absolute basis. Such new approaches will inform responses to growing challenges such as fuel poverty and climate gentrification. 

In a nation that should be leading the way, 13.2% of households were classified as fuel poor in 20201. That makes innovations and forward-thinking methods like those at Satellite Vu even more important as we work together to combat climate change. 

You can read the Satellite Vu interview in full in our enlightening paper. It’ll give you a confident idea of what’s happening and where climate change reporting is heading, which can help you and your organisation respond effectively to the climate realities facing the industry. 

Read the executive summary of the white paper here:

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