Sea view and compliant with the EU Taxonomy - A real estate agent's dream?
We've probably all been there; you meet a nice person who you start talking to and after a while they ask you what you do for a living. I sometimes provide a bit of a teaser and say something like “I keep an eye on what’s in the walls of your house”. It surprises people a bit and then you can build on that. It often results in quite a rewarding conversation, although in many cases it is also a bit abstract as most people never come directly into contact with our services. For example, if I say that a lot of people use our services to fulfil the material requirements specified in the Miljöbyggnad certification, the next step is to explain what Miljöbyggnad is.
Even though it is a bit hard to take as I am actually a member of the operational council of Miljöbyggnad (Sweden Green Building Council), I must admit that Miljöbyggnad, as well as BREEAM and LEED, are largely unknown among the general public. The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is of course well known, but many people are still surprised by the fact that there are buildings that are eco-labelled with the Nordic Swan. Although this is actually gradually starting to change. Slowly, these various building-related environmental certifications are starting to become more widely known among the general public. Is that because of a general increase in interest in the impact of different chemicals on us and our environment? Maybe to some extent, but it is most likely actually more about money. A number of financial institutions have decided to make their portfolios “greener”. One way of achieving this is by lending money to finance “green” houses and tenant-owner flats, which is achieved by giving an interest rate discount for such properties.
So how is it decided whether or not a house or flat is “green”? This is based on the certification systems that currently exist, and will soon also be based on the green EU Taxonomy. So, all of a sudden, it has become of considerable interest if that property with a sea view is actually also certified according to Miljöbyggnad Gold or is compliant with the EU Taxonomy, as this will result in a lower monthly cost and make it easier to sell.
You might think it’s sad that everything is just about money, and of course people also care about the environmental aspects. But, as shown by for example the declining sales of organic products in grocery stores over the past year, the personal finances of individuals are very important and if you have to make a difficult choice about priorities then... A shame perhaps, but there is also an upside, as the very same mechanism can work in a positive way as well. In the above scenario, even those people who only care about the monthly cost of their new home will make good environmental choices. And if we manage to achieve that in even more areas, we could start to see some really big changes.
Head of Sustainability Development
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