According to Mckinsey’s 2020 report on Climate risk and response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts, by 2050, parts of Asia may see increasing average temperatures, lethal heat waves, extreme precipitation events, severe hurricanes, drought, and changes in the water supply. With Asia being one of the world’s most affected in terms of climate impact, it is socially and economically imperative for the region to take action.
Buildings generate almost 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions every year. They are also responsible for about 35% of resources, 40% of energy use, and utilise 12% of the world’s drinkable water. Embodied carbon, which refers to carbon dioxide emissions generated as part of the materials and construction processes throughout a building’s life cycle, accounts for 11% of yearly greenhouse gas emissions and 28% of building sector emissions.
In fact, all greenhouse gas emissions must be eliminated from the built environment by 2040 in order to meet the Paris Climate Agreement targets.
Furthermore, with urban populations growing rapidly, about two-thirds of the world’s expected population of 10 billion will be living in cities by 2050. This means that global building stock will have to double in area. Correspondingly, these new buildings must be designed in such a way that they meet zero-net-carbon standards.
This is why smart construction is crucial. Smart construction refers to buildings and infrastructure which fully leverage digital technologies and manufacturing techniques to improve sustainability and productivity, maximise user benefits, and minimise whole life costs.
With smart construction, the building sector can meet this worldwide growing demand for more buildings in a more sustainable, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly manner. Aside from productivity and efficiency, smart construction also emphasises the wellbeing of each building’s occupants and finds solutions that help reduce running costs while improving the overall quality, performance, and durability of the building.
Conversations about Asia-Pacific’s climate innovators with Climatic
Smart construction is the first topic that will be covered during Climatic, a series of videos and conversations related to climate and the environment. Powered by the Asian Development Bank’s ADB Ventures — sponsored by the Climate Technology Fund — and made possible in partnership with e27, New Energy Nexus, Plug and Play, and Third Derivative, Climatic will bring together the innovators decarbonising Asia-Pacific, the entrepreneurs making our region more resilient to climate change, and the corporate leaders partnering with them to scale.
Climatic is kickstarting at a crucial time. Key industries across the region are increasing their appetites for technological innovation and adopting solutions that improve business performance as well as climate impact. Industries are streamlining their business practices to decrease operating costs, adapt to evolving policies, strengthen their relationships with the community and other stakeholders, and achieve Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) agendas.
The Asia-Pacific region is also brimming with technological solutions that help do just that. These technologies help to conserve energy, reduce and avoid greenhouse gas emissions, and build communities’ and economies’ resilience against climate change. For example, Singapore-based startup SensorFlow’s solutions help buildings regulate their own energy systems and automate room temperatures by using real-time data. This makes infrastructure more energy efficient while helping reduce operating costs.
Investment-related aspects of decarbonisation and innovation across the region will also be covered during Climatic. Despite recent trends toward climate-relevant funds and investments, there is still an acute shortage of private risk capital for early-stage companies in these verticals such as those in cleantech and agritech. This is especially so for companies in smaller and frontier markets, serving more remote geographies, and operating in capital-intensive sectors.
These issues will be covered during Climatic, which will span four series, each one focusing on a specific theme or industry.
Each series comprises:
- Climatic, a talk show that will bring together Asia-Pacific’s industry leaders, the entrepreneurs making a climate impact, and the investors funding their growth,
- Climatic Startup Showdown, a show in which the world’s toughest venture capitalists give their hot takes on up-and-coming climate startups, and
- Climatic Clubhouse, an open forum for discussion on currently available technology solutions, their impact, and opportunities to scale in Asia-Pacific.
Moving forward with the first theme of Climatic — Smart Construction
Climatic has selected smart construction as the central theme for its first series. This is unsurprising. Merely building the places where we live and work already contributes 11% to global greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, construction contributes almost as much to climate change as all the cars and trucks on the world’s roads. However, new technologies present a more environmentally friendly, energy-efficient path forward. These solutions will change the way buildings and infrastructure are built and make construction cleaner, greener, and far more climate-friendly.
Fortunately, Asia-Pacific’s construction industry realises this too. Companies are welcoming the arrival of these new technologies, which reduce the climate impact of construction and reduce building and operating costs of infrastructure.
As part of Climatic’s first series on smart construction, the following events will be held:
- Climatic Smart Construction, 1 September
- Climatic Startup Showdown, 8 September
- Climatic Clubhouse, 15 September
This series will be hosted by Linh Thai, senior advisor to Openspace Ventures and chief executive officer of TVL Group, a consulting company focusing on skills-gap training and development. She has extensive experience in managerial roles at multiple venture capital funds, such as Vingroup Ventures and DFJ VinaCapital, one of Vietnam’s first venture capital funds. Notably, she is one of the main judges on the reality television show Shark Tank Vietnam.
Other guests include:
- Thomas Abel, chief of digital group, sustainable development, and climate change department at the Asian Development Bank
- Jojo Flores, Co-founder of Plug and Play
- Daniel Hersson, senior fund manager at ADB Ventures
- Shannon Kalayanamitr, partner in Gobi Ventures and judge on Shark Tank Thailand
- Juan Nieto, Asia representative for CEMEX Ventures
- Akinori Onodera, chief executive officer of Earthbrain
- Christian Sanz, chief executive officer of Skycatch
- Ricky Togashi, global head of innovation at Komatsu
- Hara Wang, investment director at Third Derivative
This article is produced by the e27 team, sponsored by ADB Ventures
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