Speakers Stefaan Martel
Stefaan Martel

Always driven by his work, Stefaan’s positive attitude inspires his co-workers. Stefaan is renowned for his extensive knowledge across all domains of the real estate business. This experience enables him to adequately manage his projects and any potential issues

Our Economy as a whole is struggling with low growth and has no longer gains in productivity as we have known before. Although we see a lot of potential gains in productivity during the whole investment process of real estate (design, construction, use). The digitization of our sector has a lot of potential to increase productivity and is potentially disruptive.

By listening to our clients we see how they challenge economic, social and environmental issues in our society and in relation to Real Estate. They develop products that respond to these challenges. Co-creation, stakeholder dialogue, design thinking and other participative methodologies are becoming increasingly important.

The new generations are more sensitive to the environmental and social challenges we are facing as a society and they have a clear view on the responsibility that companies should assume in these matters.  Young talented workers want to work for companies which share these preoccupations.

Therefore CSR should be part of the strategy of the company, with KPI’s integrated in the business objectives that leads to actions that are noticeable in the daily business operations. In this matter it is important that this strategy is also reflected in the performances of the buildings those companies occupy. Companies set up ambitious strategies but often fail in translating it into daily practice.

Reporting on sustainable performances and other ESG objectives is important to create awareness and to show the benefits of these business models. We see indeed more and more Real Estate actors in all sectors and branches that become aware of the necessity to develop a CSR strategy to “compensate” the ecological footprint of their business. However it is more important to see the opportunities to develop a “good” business model that has no negative impact on our society. The Circular Economy principles have the potential to develop an industry with positive impact. The Circular Economy Principles contains in itself solutions for all kind of problems such as the scarcity of energy, the scarcity of materials, climate change, the loss of biodiversity, health and well-being issues. But also economic problems such as the increase of raw material prices.

Real Estate developers are willing to deliver new dwellings that take in account all these new challenges but they have dought about the appetite off investors. So we ask our self if investors once in the lead of innovation in the real estate sector are still willing to finance innovation.