Equity Residential, Hudson Pacific Lead Big Names Ponying Up $140M For Climate Tech Fund
A number of major real estate players, including Equity Residential, Hudson Pacific Properties, Invitation Homes, Ivanhoé Cambridge and Kimco Realty Corp., have invested a total of $140M in a fund to decarbonize commercial real estate, according to Fifth Wall, a venture firm specializing in real estate tech.
Fifth Wall's fund, Climate Tech Fund, ultimately plans to raise $500M. So far, it has invested in a number of real estate tech companies, including ICON, Sealed and Turntide Technologies, all of which are developing tech to reduce the carbon output of the built environment.
Building operations and the construction industry represent 38% of global carbon dioxide emissions, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. Emissions from the operation of buildings hit their highest-ever level in 2019, the U.N. reported.
“Rising emissions in the buildings and construction sector emphasize the urgent need for a triple strategy to aggressively reduce energy demand in the built environment,” Executive Director of the U.N. Environment Programme Inger Andersen said in a statement.
Retrofitting older buildings and reducing carbon emissions in newly built structures are critical in reducing CRE's carbon footprint, the nonprofit Architecture 2030 reports.
"Real estate is kind of this massive industry when it comes to climate change, but at the same time, we haven't seen the industry commit a significant amount of capital to the tech that's required to decarbonize it," Fifth Wall Managing Partner Brendan Wallace told Axios.