Property exhibitions generate 48,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum

The world is 5:1 down at half time in its battle against climate change, according to Boris Johnson. As the UK hosts this years COP26, the real estate industry will no doubt be thinking about what it can do to reduce its impact on the planet. And no doubt many property developers and agents will be posting this week about their ‘green credentials’ and what they are doing to battle climate change.

But what about property exhibitions? The reality is for most in the residential property industry, solutions are likely to mean doing less rather than more. One thing that residential developers and property agents could both do to tackle climate change is stop single project property exhibitions in Asia.

International Property Exhibitions

Every weekend real estate developers from the UK and other parts of the world promote their properties for sale to offshore investors in 5-star hotels in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, and other parts of Asia and the Middle East. While the cost and price inflation aspects of these events are well understood, few people have considered the environmental impact of these events is.

To determine the environmental impact of a property exhibition, we decided to work out the environmental cost of exhibiting over a three-day weekend in Hong Kong. We considered a typical property 3-day event at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong, with the following:

  • Friday night – 3-hour cocktail party
  • Saturday & Sunday – two-day event with 30 groups (average size 2.5) attending each day
  • Catering for all three days
  • Marketing and promotion for the event
  • Materials for the event (Host brochure, floor plan brochure, 200 copies of each together with bags and other property agency collaterals)
  • Travel, accommodation, and shipping of materials
Property Exhibitions and cocktail event

What is the Carbon Cost of an Event?

According to our calculations the carbon cost of flying participants to and from the event and the event itself generates approximately 49 tones of highly polluting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Friday Night Cocktail PartySaturday & Sunday Event
Mobility13.2924.08
Accomodation0.3270.655
Catering0.6660.518
Energy0.0480.097
Materials4.65.0
Transport0.0040.004
Waste0.0850.269
TOTAL19.230.15

What is the Annual Carbon Cost of Property Exhibitions in Hong Kong?

In 2019 in Hong Kong alone, 85 property agents carried out 984 property exhibitions. If each of the exhibitions in Hong Kong carried out spewed out the same amount of C02, then the carbon cost of the Hong Kong property exhibition market would be 48,216 tonnes p.a. This is the equivalent of the C02 required to build more than 600 brand new two bedroom cottages in the UK; or alternatively:

  • Created the greenhouse emissions of driving a car 121,176,349 miles
  • The carbon sequested by planting 797,262 trees
  • The C02 emissions generated by charging 5,865,121,842 smart phones

For more information on calculating carbon cost equivalents you can check out the US Government Environmental Protection Agency website here.

Given most people in the International Project Marketing industry recognise most exhibitions achieve very little in the way of sales. Is it not time for developers, agents, and others to look for less polluting ways to sell property to offshore investors?

Utilising new technology

We will shortly be launching a brand new platform to connect investors and developers. Our platform democratizes residential property investment and because it doesn’t rely on property exhibitions, it doesn’t contribute to climate change the same way.

Our proptech platform has multiple functions to enable investors to analyse, invest and prosper. Email me at [email protected] to find out more.

Related articles: Property Exhibition Costs

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