Creating Emerging Markets Sustainability Series – The Future of Green Building

Cover image features Christoph Schiess (left) and Jim Damalas (right).

Over the course of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, green and energy-efficient construction has emerged as a pivotal point of discussion towards reducing global carbon emissions. The push to decarbonize the building sector stems from statistics compiled by sources such as Architecture 2030, which indicate that activities related to construction and building maintenance are responsible for approximately 40% of global CO2 emissions.

With renewed commitments to green building coming from the conclusion of COP27, we feature two interviews from the CEM collection with business leaders in the real estate and hotel industries. Both emphasize how investments in green building not only contribute towards sustainable development, but how they also represent wise business decisions.

  • Christoph Schiess is Chairman of TANICA, a Chilean business group founded in 1954 with diversified activities that include real estate and tourism. Schiess discusses how TANICA’s corporate head office has served as an example of construction that balances both energy and cost efficiency.

    “At the end, the operation cost is about a third of a traditional building. [Furthermore], we have ecological climatization and a much more cost-efficient or energy-efficient operation, improving the long-term buy back.”

Download this video clip in which Christoph Schiess speaks about TANICA’s commitments to sustainable building, and visit his interview page to download the full interview transcript.

  • Jim Damalas is the founder and CEO of Greentique Hotels, and a leading figure in Costa Rica’s prominent eco-tourism industry. Damalas details how the hotels he developed from the early 1990s utilize natural resources in a sustainable fashion.

    “When you can [maintain] natural corridors, not only do you have the shade factor, using less energy to air-condition the rooms, but also you can open the windows and doors and the airflow will come through the buildings because they all have exhaust. All that, back in the ’90s, was before even LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design; green building certification] had created its own standards.”

While video material is unavailable for this interview with Jim Damalas, you can visit his interview page to download the full interview transcript.