World Environment Day is celebrated every June 5 by resolution of the United Nations. And, unfortunately, its relevance has grown year after year as a consequence of the appearance and intensification of more and more symptoms of climate change such as heat waves, droughts, melting of the poles or tropical cyclones. That is why it is no longer enough to become aware of the importance of sustainability on a specific day on the calendar. The commitment must be constant. The effort must encompass every moment of the year. This is precisely what we do at Colonial with our environmental construction and renovation policies.
Green measures in all phases of building construction
The construction of a building from scratch is a decisive moment due to the enormous amount of material and energy resources it requires. Hence, its approach must be carried out with a mindset of minimizing consumption and minimizing the carbon footprint. However, a building is much more than its construction. At Colonial, a leading real estate company in sustainable office buildings, we never forget about their operational phase and we implement measures that lead to a lower impact on the environment and on the planet in general. We are determined to be an active part of the solution to climate change.
Promoting energy efficiency
All the assets in our portfolio, distributed between Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, have official certifications that accredit their high levels of energy efficiency. And this is key. After all, energy is associated with implicit pollution. Limiting its use is essential. At Colonial, specifically, we achieve this by creating designs that optimize the reception of natural light, implementing LED lighting systems, using materials with high thermal insulation and installing truly efficient heating and air conditioning systems. We do not neglect any aspect. Our world deserves it.
Prioritizing renewable energies
We wrote in the previous section that energy production inevitably leads to pollution. However, this pollution is very significantly reduced thanks to renewable energies. Photovoltaic panels, for example, involve a carbon footprint in their manufacture, but subsequently offer totally clean energy that protects the environment. Quite the opposite of what happens with fossil fuels, which are largely responsible for global warming. In this sense, our challenge has always been and is to supply the energy needs of our buildings with renewable energies. This is the only way forward.
Use of sustainable materials
Energy is one of the pillars of the construction and renovation operations we carry out as a real estate developer. But also materials: How much energy is needed to produce them? How much energy is needed to transport them to the location of the building? How much do they pollute? How much do they promote energy efficiency? These are questions that we ask ourselves every day and thanks to which we always opt for the most sustainable materials possible: certified wood, recycled materials, non-toxic paint and coatings? And everything as close to home as possible.
Installation of water management systems
It would be a profound mistake not to take into account the water consumption of real estate interventions. Especially at a time in history when water scarcity has become a global problem. Every liter counts. And that is why at Colonial we install systems for efficient water management in both faucets and toilets. It is also important that the design of the dispensers themselves generates savings in consumption. In some cases, rainwater collection for reuse may be a solution to consider. Of course, in the operational phase, the consumption behavior of workers will be key.
Other sustainability measures
To make buildings truly green, all fronts must be addressed. This also includes proper waste management and the implementation of the three Rs of recycling: reduce, reuse and recycle. In addition, at Colonial we also study in detail the location, a factor that can reduce both the impact on nature and the carbon footprint by being inserted in an area where essential services are covered. Finally, we do not forget the addition of native plants and respect for the fauna of the area. Every detail makes a difference in this fight. A fight that belongs to everyone.