Mindspace REIT - Making 'green' real estate a reality in India
Mindspace Business Parks REIT, a leader in sustainable practices in the real estate industry in India has taken several measures to reduce carbon footprint in its projects -- right from conceptualization through its lifecycle. Vinod Rohira, CEO, Mindspace Business Parks REIT shares with ETN how businesses can make a significant impact in tackling climate change.
Q: Mindspace Business has set ambitious climate commitments, tell us more about your organization's overall sustainability strategy.
A: At Mindspace Business Parks, each of our projects is LEED/IGBC Green certified, and we aspire to constantly contribute positively towards sustainability initiatives. Today, each building is either Gold or Platinum Green Building Certified. Our strategy towards sustainability and awareness has been two-pronged.
Firstly, we ensure that at an organization-level, we bring in relevant interventions and initiatives that contribute towards a greener tomorrow. We also sensitize our employees, so they are mindful of the initiatives and consciously integrate them into their everyday activities. The second focus area is to increase awareness of the advantages and the necessity of incorporating green initiatives among our clients, tenants, and partners. We encourage and induce a positive change by encouraging partners to ramp up their sustainability efforts. From training programs to informal discussions, and from quarterly meets to several communication initiatives, we go the extra mile to make sure they are partners and committed to the cause.
We understand that commitment and continuity are key if we want to halve carbon emissions by 2030. With an office portfolio that covers five integrated business parks and five quality independent offices, Mindspace Business Parks REIT has over 200,000 employees coming in to work each day at the business parks, pointing at an opportunity to positively empower and influence a large relevant young populace. Pioneering sustainable practices in the Indian real estate industry, Mindspace Business Parks REIT has woven measures to reduce carbon footprint into the business parks right at the time of conceptualization and through its life cycle.
As an organization, we have been early adopters in all fields including sustainable development. We started the concept of integrated business parks in India and led the thought process for green buildings. When it comes to setting the benchmark for sustainability initiatives and keeping up our industry-first practice – we decided to join hands with EV100 to assist in boosting our corporate sustainability goals.
Q: How do businesses tackle climate change, especially with external dependencies on supply chain partners, policy environment, and the broader business ecosystem?
A: As a thumb rule we partner with suppliers who are more conscientious of the environmental impact of doing business and who are taking efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. We also partner with local authorities and take up projects to aid and develop the ecosystem around the micro-market. We ensure our vendors and suppliers are aligned with our larger vision of a greener and better tomorrow.
Since we are central to the development of our projects, we view ourselves as an entity that inspires our partners to follow in the footsteps of sustainable development. We demonstrate to our suppliers, policymakers, and the general business ecosystem, the benefits of participating in the green initiative. Our role as an integrator will be to cohesively act as a catalyst for driving change initiatives throughout the value chain. Our organization initiating this movement and emerging as a successful role model will encourage others to adopt and follow.
We understand the larger implications to the environment and are spreading awareness amongst our occupiers about the adoption of electric vehicles. We have begun with making charging stations easily accessible and free of cost to our employees and clients. We are exploring the possibility of getting electric vehicle service providers on board who will manage the entire operation of electric vehicles.
Today, raising awareness about the environment is critical, and businesses stand at the forefront of the knowledge chain. We believe that if each business puts sustainability at the center of its plans, collectively, we can make a measurable impact and significant difference.
Q: What are the three key developments in the next decade in your view that will enable India to move swiftly towards its goals of mainstreaming electric transport?
A: The three key developments which we are expecting are:
Government intervention and policies: These interventions and policies promote the adoption of sustainability initiatives. We also expect an increase in incentivizing the adoption of greener manufacturing/construction options. Today, we see genuine efforts towards strengthening the EV manufacturing capabilities, which is encouraging. Renewable energy targets are also being revisited and various measures are being adopted towards effective recycling of raw materials. Besides this, the Government of India has announced various tax cuts and subsidies to further encourage more people to buy EVs.
Businesses are increasingly taking sustainability initiatives seriously: They are consciously measuring their environmental impact. We only expect this to further strengthen.
External stakeholder buy-in: Along with internal stakeholders, we are seeing support from external stakeholders – whether our vendors, partners, and clients. Each wants to play a more significant role in the sustainability story, and we see that as a highly positive indication for the times to come.
Q: In the lead up to COP26, what is your message to businesses?
A: Today, raising awareness about the environment is critical, and businesses stand at the forefront of the knowledge chain. We believe that if each business puts sustainability at the center of its plans, collectively, we can make a measurable impact and significant difference.
Business parks like ours, are 'offices of choice' for a large millennial populace. Driven by the need to create a positive difference, these millennials also become catalysts to drive change and the sustainability message.Our endeavor under the Climate Group's EV100 initiative is to fortify our commitment to sustainability, as we amalgamate innovation with technology. By setting up the electrical charging stations at our business parks we offer solutions that are good for the environment, customers, stakeholders, and future generations.
Interviewed by The Climate Group. Edited by Shraddha Kakade, Asst. Editor, ETN Magazine.