by Charalampos Giannikopoulos,

Managing Director and Founder of DCarbon

While business leaders seem to adapt quickly to the new needs, international standards and even the transformation of the Greek economy, the public sector is lagging behind

State properties have not yet been actively involved in ESG integration, whereas the private sector is making significant steps. This occurs due to the fact that demand for ESG integration is mainly market-driven and hence primarily affecting the private sector, which needs to remain competitive against peers.

State properties will follow inevitably, due to the mandates associated with legislative requirements. It is obvious that projects located in the Athens Metropolitan area will be primarily affected by ESG requirements because of the nature of the stakeholders and investors.

ESG has recently been a hot topic for institutional real estate developers in Greece. It is understood that the capital market provides a very effective top-down push towards bottom-up commitment.

Leaders need to push the boundaries towards transformational net-zero buildings that are safe, healthy, comfortable, connected, socially responsible. ESG strategy enables a transparent and recognized way of communicating the sustainability performance of a company and its associated investments, as well as unlocks healthier funding opportunities (green bonds, etc.).

Accordingly, the penetration of international stakeholders in the most prominent real estate investments in Greece accelerates exponentially the integration of ESG in the delivery of the projects in a way which will result in the alignment of the country with global best practices despite anticipated inefficiencies or other associated burdens (e.g. lack of reliable data, reluctant board members etc.).

A primary Key Performance Indicator

Globally, sustainability in real estate is much more than a trend. It is a necessity and a primary Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for investors. Accordingly, a real estate project which lacks in documenting transparently its sustainability characteristics will lose in value directly and indirectly; it is not only the value of the asset itself that will be negatively affected but its screening among reliable tenants or customers which will be impacted. The cost of inaction against sustainability and climate change resiliency will not be affordable for involved investors.

First LEED Accredited Professional in Greece

Charalampos Giannikopoulos started his career in the UK and was involved in the inaugural implementation of LEED in Greece at large-scale commercial projects back in 2011, as the first LEED Accredited Professional in the country.

Today his company DCarbon consults its clients on green building certification.

DCarbon is a sustainability consulting multidisciplinary group with diverse backgrounds in engineering, architecture, finance, environmental and chemical science consultants.

This article is published in the March/ April issue of Greek Business File,  part of the cover story on the top construction industry trend of building green. The cover story presents the history of green buildings in Greece, the pioneers and market leaders. It also looks into the huge gap between the capital and the rest of the country. The March/ April issue of Greek Business File is available here.