How PropTech Academy has developed a sustainability certification process for companies?

Sustainable property technology describes an innovation that considers natural resources and fosters economic and social development in the property technology, real estate, construction, and finance sectors. The goal of these technologies is to drastically reduce environmental and ecological risks and create a sustainable product cycle and service. Sustainable technology prevents deterioration, contamination, and other negative environmental impacts through its use or production. The technology is efficient in terms of its use of energy and resources.

Sustainable property technology aims to minimize any negative social and environmental impacts, which is good for the implementation of smart city management and sustainable city management standards.

We identify and promote innovative products that provide society with environmental and social benefits, such as reducing the energy consumption of end-applications, saving resources, protecting the environment, and providing solutions that improve people’s quality of life.

 One of the biggest questions to answer is whether we can shape sustainable property technology. Whether digitalization will contribute toward sustainable development, in the long run, is dependent on how we shape it. Property technology offers new possibilities and pathways how to shape the future of sustainable living and work. Ultimately, property technology will fundamentally change the structures of our societies and the markets.

Technologies of Industry 4.0 do stimulate the realization of global goals in the sphere of sustainable development, allowing the development of hi-tech production, which is peculiar for high efficiency regardless of the natural and climate conditions. Secondly, Industry 4.0 offers new “green” technologies, which allow reducing the volume of consumption of natural resources and minimizing production waste, thus protecting the environment.

We will briefly highlight key challenges alongside the pillars of sustainability to pinpoint vital and promising fields of policy activity. We are just at the beginning of the digitalization of the real estate and construction sectors. PropTech (property technology) has an important role as a regulator to standardize the sectors and setting the norms for market players. Without standards and norms, we cannot build a sustainable property technology market.

The primary objective of standardization is the definition of voluntary technology, innovation, sustainability, or quality specifications with which current or future products, production processes, or services may comply. Standardization can cover various issues, such as standardization of different grades of service and products or technological specifications in product or services markets where compatibility and interoperability with other products or services are essential.

Standards and norms provide clear guidelines and instructions that, when correctly applied, should ensure that a service or product will satisfy a series of specific quality, innovation, technology, and sustainability criteria, corresponding with customers’ requirements. By implementing the relevant standards, you can achieve better levels of performance and reliability. This will help you to attract and retain customers for your products and services, thereby making your business more competitive and successful.

Sustainable property technology has the potential to improve productivity and competitiveness, increase energy and resource efficiency and effectiveness and, hence, protect the environment.

Sustainability in an entrepreneurial economy needs creative approaches. Doing more with less and doing things better with less ecological, financial, and societal impact with a balanced societal effect needs ongoing innovative processes in the influence sphere of the users and the producers. We must use digital solutions in meaningful ways to reach these goals. We believe that long-term cooperation, knowledge exchanges, and joint competence building are also key success factors in achieving sustainable digital ecosystems in the real estate, construction, and finance sectors.

Sustainability in the real estate and construction sectors can be achieved by assessing the energy and environmental efficiency of buildings, performing sustainability-related activities, risk assessments, and using locale-specific tools for effective implementation. Critical to achieving sustainability in the sectors are plans to track environmental, social, and governance key performance indicators (KPIs) as part of performance measurement and decision support, obtaining environmental certifications and compliance, and conducting external assurance. Because of that, property technology has an important key role in the sustainable transformation of the real estate and construction sectors. The most important use of property technology is likely to be in evaluating and retrofitting existing buildings.

Sustainable Property Technology Business Models

A sustainable business model describes an ecological, social, and/or economic problem that arises when an organization aims to create value, and it describes the core of a solution to this problem that can be repeatedly applied in a multitude of ways, situations, contexts, and domains. A sustainable business model also describes the design principles, value-creating activities, and arrangements that are required to provide a useful problem-solution combination.

Sustainable innovation is a process where sustainability considerations (environmental, social, and financial) are integrated into company systems—business systems—from idea generation and development and commercialization. This applies to products, services, and technologies, as well as to new business and organizational models.


  1. Principles: a principle could be defined as: An essential rule or behavior followed to achieve the desired outcome or an essential characteristic of a system.
  2. Criteria: A distinguishing element or set of conditions or processes by which a characteristic or management measure is judged
  3. Indicator: A quantitative or qualitative variable that can be measured or described and which when observed periodically demonstrates trends.
  4. Verifier: Data or information that enhances the specificity or the ease of assessment of an indicator. Verifiers add meaning and precision to an indicator.

Environmental sustainability principles for the property technology sector

  1. Embed adherence to best-in-class sustainability standards in all aspects of our property technology operations, with board-level responsibility for monitoring and disclosing our sustainability performance.
  2. Ensure that our decisions contribute to improvements in environmental sustainability at the local and urban levels, working cooperatively with tenants, landlords, city decision-makers, planners, and other stakeholders in achieving our targets.
  3. Commit to continuous improvement in the environmental performance of construction and development activities, and our property technology policies.
  4. Track the environmental performance of our real estate assets and operations continuously, to assess our ecological footprint, and our exposure to risk from natural shocks, environmental regulation, and the economic impacts of climate change.
  5. Identify explicit targets for improving our environmental sustainability performance including specifically our commitment to minimize emissions of greenhouse gases and to increase our use of renewable resources.
  6. Research and development of suitable services and products.

Sustainable Property Technology Indicators:

  1. Environmental
  2. Technology (Development of the platforms, tools, and products)
  3. Innovation (Research of the markets)
  4. Site Management (Location analysis and management)
  5. Construction Management
  6. Energy
  7. Water
  8. Mobility
  9. Materials and Resources
  10. Sustainable Resources
  11. Risk Management (change in value)
  12. Sensitivity Analysis
  13. Wellbeing (Living and Working)

Sustainable business model types;

  • Technological innovation: creating a fit between technology characteristics and (new) commercialization approaches that both can succeed in given and new markets.
  • Organizational innovation: implementing alternative paradigms that shape the culture, structure, and routines of organizations and thus change the way of doing business toward sustainable development.
  • Social innovation: helping to create and further develop markets for innovations with a social purpose.

The value proposition is concerned with the product and service offerings in generating economic return. In a sustainable business, the value proposition provides measurable ecological or social value together with economic value.

  1. Product/service
  2. Customer segment & relationships
  3. Value for customer, society, and environment

Question: What value is provided and to whom?

Value creation emphasizes how businesses capture value by seizing new business opportunities, new markets, and new revenue streams.

  1. Activities
  2. Resources
  3. Distribution channels
  4. Partners & suppliers
  5. Technology and product features

Question: How is the value provided?

Value capture relates to how a business earns its revenues from the provision of goods, services, or data/information to customers and users.

  1. Cost structure & revenue streams
  2. Value capture for key actors incl. environment & society
  3. Growth strategy/ethos

Question: How does the company make money and capture other forms of value?


  1. Digital and open data and communication platform
  2. Accessibility and disabled mobility
  3. IoT Network
  4. Sensors
  5. Real-time performance monitoring
  6. Cloud-based all in one software for planning, controlling, and management
  7. Building Information Modeling
  8. Roof and facade insulation
  9. Greening design according to local biodiversity
  10. Soil pollution and land contamination
  11. Dedicated footpath and covered footpath
  12. Dedicated parking area
  13. Air quality
  14. Indoor ventilation system
  15. Daylight
  16. Soundproofing
  17. Charging station for E-Car, E-Bike, E-Scooter
  18. Triple glazed windows
  19. Building energy is generated by renewable energy
  20. Lighting
  21. Heating
  22. Photovoltaic power station
  23. Solar collectors
  24. Using devices and sensors to reduce water consumption
  25. Water efficient landscaping
  26. Use of recycled water for landscape and parks
  27. Treat and recycle wastewater that leads to a reduction in water consumption
  28. Rainwater harvesting that leads to a reduction in water consumption
  29. Central waste management
  30. Container depending on the type of waste
  31. Convertibility and reuse of building
  32. Reduction of construction waste
  33. Safe disposal of construction waste
  34. Recycling of non-hazardous materials
  35. Reuse of building materials
  36. Use of materials with recycled content
  37. Use of locally produced building materials
  38. Use of certified wood materials
  39. Automated predictive control
  40. heat-reflective painting