Is your real estate strategy considering the economic and sustainability aspects of water consumption and reduction? In addition to saving significant costs to any real estate portfolio, the increasing climate changes observed each year also mean conserving water supplies is more urgent than ever.
When it comes to water reduction, the best way forward for your real estate portfolio is to ensure you have a suitable strategy in place, well before attempting any major water-saving implementations.
An aligned approach to water efficiency
Smartvatten and Cooltree are two of the real estate industry’s unique players in Europe around ESG in general, and specifically water efficiency and savings. Smartvatten works with property owners and homeowner associations across Europe to use water economically and sustainably with its innovative real-time water consumption monitoring, while Cooltree helps to both plan and execute an all-inclusive ESG strategy that is monitored and continually improved.
This strategic reasoning to water reduction is where Smartvatten and Cooltree found one another. While Cooltree looks at sustainability from a holistic approach, Smartvatten’s focus is specifically on water savings and using the same strategic thinking to help their mutual clients.
“Both companies share a unified approach to improve the ESG performance which includes water reduction and have been partnering together to help our mutual clients since 2019, with the mindset that water reduction begins with developing and fine-tuning the right strategy,” says Luc van de Boom, CEO & Founder at Cooltree.
In some markets like the Netherlands, the realities are that the price of water is quite inexpensive, meaning water reduction is not yet a focal point for most property management operations. As Smartvatten and Cooltree have begun helping clients in this market, they are finding that most Dutch properties score considerably low on their water sustainability goals and targets, since water reduction and water monitoring have typically never been on their agenda.
Water efficiency policies seeing a boost
The good news is that both companies are clearly seeing a growing number of real estate property managers taking their water reduction initiatives more seriously, each and every year.
One of their mutual clients is A.S.R Real Estate, where water reduction is a key facet within the company strategy. A.S.R has recently started the process of water monitoring, applying Smartvatten’s remote water monitoring solutions into some of their buildings. From a water savings perspective, they are accurately taking a wide-view approach to reducing water, embedding water savings into their strategy.
Another mutual client is Merin, where sustainability is a mainstay of their strategy, with water reduction a key part of that.
“While everything under the sustainability pillar of their strategy is monitored in their own platform, Merin’s water monitoring is done by Smartvatten,” says Tim Twisk, Global Key Account Manager at Smartvatten. “Smartvatten and Cooltree have worked closely together with Merin. From planning to implementation, which includes setting up an API integration where Smartvatten data is pushed to their own platform. This allows Merin to see all of their water monitoring data from a single platform that they are already using.”
Water reduction is more than just quick wins
While monitoring water by itself may get a real estate portfolio some immediate results and savings, monitoring alone doesn’t typically solve the problem of truly reducing properties’ water consumption.
“Like Smartvatten, Cooltree has a genuine desire to work together with each client to create a strategy that considers ESG (which includes water) impact, building water reduction into their strategy and creating a plan forward,” says van de Boom. “When we have a plan and objectives in place to improve their sustainability performance and reduce their water consumption with the help of water monitoring, we call upon companies like Smartvatten.”
One of the many benefits of Smartvatten’s water monitoring solutions is that the more volume their clients have, the more cost-savings they are gaining.
“This pricing model has played a significant role in helping our clients reach their strategic goals and objectives,” says Twisk.
Innovating for the future with new features
While Smartvatten is already providing real-time water consumption reporting for clients so they can benchmark their portfolio of buildings and the performance, they also have new features in the pipeline.
“With our new comparison feature, Smartvatten is extending its benchmark offerings to the Smartvatten platform even deeper, with customers able to see how their buildings are performing compared to other Smartvatten clients,” says Twisk. “This is a key part of improving efficiency for our customers.”
Don’t let reporting be the drawback
While it’s one of the last phases of your water monitoring journey, the reporting process and how a property management goes about that can be a pitfall if all the elements done beforehand—from strategy, objectives, planning, and implementation—are not prepared carefully.
A quality reporting system will require not only financial costs, but also costs in terms of time and effort resources. Interestingly enough, while reporting is a final step before learning and enhancing, this last goal is actually already being worked on and developed from the very first steps.
Follow these simple steps to water reduction for your real estate portfolio: