Our newsletter, to be delivered twice monthly, will explore pertinent issues related to smart technology, clean energy and sustainable agriculture. Our goal is to keep a finger on the pulse of industry trends and how they relate to Novus’s goals and success.
Why the Real Estate Industry is Pumping Cash into Climate Technology
Yesterday, the venture firm Fifth Wall — the largest venture capital firm focused on technology for the global real estate industry — announced its Climate Tech Fund had pulled in more than $140 million from a handful of
real estate titans.
Real estate might not get the same attention for its effects on the planet as, say, factories, cars and even plastic straws, but according to the U.N. Environment Program the buildings sector made up 38% of global
energy-related carbon emissions in 2019. But, the organization noted, there’s been a tremendous uptick in the number of projects aligned with green building rating standards for construction and operations. Green buildings, in fact, are one of the greatest global investment opportunities for the coming decade — estimated by the International Finance Corporation to hit $24.7 trillion by 2030.
Fifth Wall ultimately aims to raise $500 million for its Climate Tech Fund, which it will use to invest in early-stage tech companies that provide solutions toward cutting carbon emissions, achieving net-zero and,
eventually, producing negative emissions. What makes this effort significant — aside from its ambitious target — is that it represents the first time industry titans — which include Equity Residential, Kimco Realty Corporation, Invitation Homes, Hudson Pacific Properties and Ivanhoé Cambridge — have come together to address their industry’s climate tech funding gap.
The Fifth Wall Climate Tech Fund already has invested in a handful of startups dedicated to lessening the real estate industry’s effects
on climate change. These include the Smart Motor System maker Turntide Technologies, the advanced construction technologies developer ICON and the energy-efficient heating and cooling company Sealed.
In Other News
Expanding Access to Residential Solar
Residential Renewables for All, a coalition of 350 organizations including the National Wildlife Federation, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the NAACP, has formed to encourage Congress to revise existing tax credits for clean energy home improvements like solar panels to make green tech accessible to lower-income households.
Auto Industry Pushes for Greener Steel
Porsche and Siemens Bet Big on Alt Fuels
Porsche and Siemens Energy recently broke ground in Chile on an e-fuel plant that will produce a low-carbon synthetic fuel made from green hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Although California, France, the UK and China have announced plans to cease the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines in the next decade, those moves won’t take existing cars off the road. This fuel is meant to be a cleaner alternative to petrol.
A Deep Dive into Corporate Water Pledges
Since 2019, there’s been a significant uptick in the number of major companies like Facebook and Google reporting efforts to reduce water withdrawals. This has meant investing in water efficiency and recycling and funding the development of data and analytics tools.
The art of climate action
Since 2015, former civil rights attorney Miranda Massie has run the Climate Museum in hopes of inspiring learning, dialogue and action. The New York City exhibition space showcases fine art and presented interdisciplinary programming for all ages. Meanwhile, the climate-change opera “Sun & Sea” just had its New York debut. The piece is performed on a beach while the audience observes from a balcony.