Manifest Density: Sponsored by Microshare

Manifest Density - Episode 59 - Menno Lammers - PropTech for Good

March 30, 2022


PropTech for Good

The pure benefits of better understanding the'"Built World.'

Menno is the founder of the PropTech for Good alliance. The PropTech for Good alliance connects CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and sustainability leaders from around the world to initiate meaningful collaborations, exchange knowledge and build thought leadership to create responsible, resilient, and regenerative environments. Menno is a mentor at REACH UK, executive sparring partner, and keynote speaker.

As a strategic advisor, Menno worked for companies like Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Nemetschek Group, Heimstaden Nederland, Savills, Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance, Rijksvastgoedbedrijf (part of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations).

This bio work constitutes a fair-use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US copyright law.

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Episode transcript:

The transcription of this episode is auto generated by a third-party source. While Microshare takes every precaution to insure that the content is accurate, errors can occur. Microshare, Inc.  is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.

Michael Moran [00:00:01] This is manifest density. Hello, everyone, and welcome to this latest edition of Manifest Density, your host Michael Moran here from Denver, Colorado, to explore the intersection of COVID 19 global business and society. Manifest density, of course, is brought to you by the global smart building and ESG data company Microshare. Unleash the data. Well, today I speak with Menno Lammers, did I get that right Menno ?


Menno Lammers [00:00:30] Yes, you do, Menno Lammers from the Netherlands.


Michael Moran [00:00:34] Iceland, and you are in the Netherlands. You are the founder of Prop Tech for Good, which is a really interesting initiative, a social enterprise in the Netherlands. And I thought maybe we'd start today with just a little bit about you and how you came to prop tech for good.


Menno Lammers [00:00:53] Yes. Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity. And thank you for having me. Um yeah. What's my journey? You know, since 2005, I was involved in innovation in real estate and and I have a keen interest in digital developments as societal trends. And in 2015, I worked as an independent strategy and innovation consultant on the behalf of our leading international property management organization. And they asked me the question You know, how? How can we organize property management ten times faster, cheaper and better, like the moonshot thinking? And we worked on that, and at a certain moment that customer asked me, Hey, man, how can you research something for us in the in the UK because our headquarters is there and we have to find a way to land that moonshot? And then I dived into my international network and I found the word proptech. So it's a combination of property and technology. And no, no one in the Netherlands was. I had claimed it, but there were already some startups because I was I was also working for the government on a special special project, so I decided to just start with the product and sell it formally. It does not exist anymore because everything goes now to product for good. So I probably should. Also the first article in the Netherlands and at a certain moment, I am a bit of struggling because there is proptech is very pushed from a technology push, and I was always asking myself Why you know why? Why aren't we doing this? And so I decided where on on April two to start with the product for good movement. So I planted the seed. It was Earth Day and also the day of the birthday of my mother. So that was really something, you know, you plant the seed for the future and the products for goods is a global movement of people who are used to business as a force for good. And the alliance is built by real estate and technology. Businesses know the deficient areas in the business mills and the pioneers in that way and those who will actively drive dialog and action and change to reshape the built environment and those who use technology as a leopard to make a positive impact on societal challenges. So what we do is, you know, bringing tech and real estate together, but we we always start with a societal challenge, for example, health and wellbeing. So how the a healthy environment in offices or affordable housing or climate action? So that's always the starting point. And then we translate that. What how can real estate make that impact and how can technology being that lever for real estate to build environments to contribute to make that positive impact? So that's that's a bit of my journey. Always curious, you know, and and humble like and also like like Steve Jobs always said, you know, stay hungry. Stay foolish. That's what I like to do.


Michael Moran [00:04:16] Steve Jobs also said, make sure you change plugs in the cords every time you have a new models. You never said that publicly, of course. But anyway, so we are quite familiar with PropTech being one ourselves. Mm. And not only that, because we do installations for ESG data purposes. We're quite familiar with the potential value of data that didn't exist before for companies to understand their performance in terms of environmental, social and governance and all sorts of things like climate footprint for the well-being of people inside their buildings. What is from your standpoint, what is the benefit of prop tech that that can make it a societal good?


Menno Lammers [00:05:04] Yeah, you know what, what we did in in the last century's decades is being degenerative in that way. And now we have the tools and the technology to make a massive progression in that way, how we design, how we build, how we manage, how we operate, how we do the maintenance part. And that's that's a big challenge because it's still going about operation excellence. But we also have the opportunity to approach things on a different way to reduce, for example, carbon emissions because we can do a better logistics. And that's. Will be. So we connect those societal challenges, which with the technology, so it will be more integration and that will be the transition period to a more responsible, resilient and regenerative environment. And what that is, you know, we have to figure that out. First things first, but you will see that the regenerative movement will be a buzzword for the next years. But but the benefits from technology now is that we can measure we can really see what's the impact because we have to start somewhere. And when we get these signs, you know, we can we can optimize or we can rethink the processes we will see probably that we, you know, we're always proud. When we create something, we build something a great asset, you, our big tower or a skyscraper or something like that. But then we can see also what is our footprint when it's when we are running, that's that assets, but also when the embodied carbon, for example, you know what's what's in the lifecycle. So from digging into the ground, get your your towels or your route and how, yeah, what's the footprint also when it's end of life? So these kind of things we can measure, but we can also measure, you know, what's the what's the healthy environment in the building? And if people get less sick, you know, that's that's good for for everyone, for the employee, for the employer, but also for the environment as a whole, we can also see if people are happy, yes or no, you know, we can. You can answer the building, for example. Have some sort of. Yeah, it's a PR challenge, of course. But for example, if people are not that happy when they come in and when they smile, when they walk out, you know they have, they probably have a great day. You know, so there are a lot of opportunities. Also, some dark sites, of course, and we have to be aware of that. But I think we can make a massive progression in next year to do something for good.


Michael Moran [00:08:18] We do a lot of this work already, and it's it's very interesting to see how it maps to the reporting requirements. The commercial real estate has the various certification programs. All of this stuff is kind of incentive for the building operators and owners and tenants to take advantage of these kind of data streams that didn't exist before. Mm-Hmm. You are someone who is helping channel technology into these demand areas, right? What do you do in terms of your conversations with people? How do you get them to understand the value of these things that you're proposing that they install?


Menno Lammers [00:09:09] It's a good question, and first of all, you know, we have to create awareness that it's already there, that it exists. And you and you have to create an environment where they can, where people come together and share what they are working on or what the issues are. And it's very important also and currently also working on on an on an interview blog. And I was thinking, you know, it's so important to. Tough to figure out what the real problem is, because what what you see now, what's happening is that. Real estate companies or the people working there reach out to me and say, Man, are we? We need a solution to reduce energy. And of course, there are many, many of these kind of solutions or we want to have insights about our footprint or we want to to create the governance structure for it to to to to achieve our our net zero pledge or something like that. And it sounds easy now because you can just bring in some solutions. And there are so many and it's growing every day. But really understand why they need it. And maybe you figure out that they they need more than only that solution. And probably they will, because what you see is happening is that most of the time it's a one figure one person thing. So one person has something on his plate. They reach out. They bring a solution in. They implement that at a certain moment in some departments challenge. And then they're going to see the the big, the big benefits. And then the CEO comes in to say, Hey, listen, we have to scale it up. But then things are going to shake because implementing a solution is one with creating a data driven organization. You also have to just kid. Yeah, to to scale up people. You probably also have to reorganize the organization. So and making them at least aware, of course, you don't want to scare them, but at least, you know, helping them to get those in science are very helpful and. Afterwards, they also say, you know, it's very nice that you told the story what you already saw or experienced in the last years because it helped me to think and to ask better questions also to the solution providers because it's easy to say, OK, yeah, you can solve my problem. Okay, let's buy things. Things are done. But if you really want to create a sustainable organization, it's more than just buying or, you know, use the platform. And that's it.


Michael Moran [00:12:33] So hold that thought, we're going to take a quick break to hear from our sponsor. Okay, we're back with Menno Lammas, we're talking about crop tech for good, which he founded. I want to ask you, is there a. A secret weapon that technology brings to the table in terms of understanding sustainability, because our experience is that the the E in the SG, let's look at it that way is pretty simple. You take it utility bills. You scrape utility bills with a web crawling spider. You can submeter. It's about consumption. That's a pretty simple data science challenge. It is no challenge, really, but it's the S and the G. Where to to automate things are tricky, and that's where we've been concentrating is the social aspects of of ESG, where you discussed a bit things like the environmental safety and wellness of the space, the quality of the air and the water, the ability of people to the building to be responsive to concerns. Those are the kinds of things that we have been deploying that bring data that's relevant to the needs of someone who's trying to pursue a sustainability initiative. What else is there, though, is there? Are there other things that a company can do?


Menno Lammers [00:14:04] One of the things you know, and maybe I can't say it right here, but is broaden the definition of technology because we're very focused on digital. And I think we, you know, it's it's also some sort of secret SaaS or, you know, which can really push things forward. But I think we also have to be aware that that technology doesn't solve all the problems. It doesn't bring us world peace. It can help. But but I think we also have to look at, you know, materials, you know, the more the physical, physical technology and the nature of technology. One of the things you know for on the technology side, where it can facilitate is I think it's very valuable also for making that transition and that transformation in your organization and also with your stakeholders is facilitating the inclusion Part D, as you know, that's that everybody can bring in their thoughts and their knowledge. I always give the example of, Hey, we want to we want to to maintain our our assets on a good way. Let's fly with drones. And then they say, Yeah, we have to hire someone. But maybe there is someone in the organization who loves to fly with drones in his private life or her private life. And maybe that's a great opportunity. But that's that's that's not the person you normally ask, because yeah, that person is doing something else. But I think, you know, unlocking that kind of value that that potential. That's also something we underrate underestimate. I think because we are so focused as real estate or industry on the physical building and getting our profits so we can reduce costs, you know, making the building more efficient in the operations or using less materials and that kind of things. And that's good. And we have to. But we will have also be aware that we are not reducing too much, that its collapse currently in there is something going on with the stadiums, you know, with the football players because the construction was not right. So we also have to be aware. So I think there are a lot of opportunities to make it better, but we are also very good. And that's the old paradigm, I think in reducing cost, make it more efficient, doing less. And of course, we have to use less, for example, concrete because it has a lot of negative impact. But yeah, that that's I think it's on the social side. More on inclusion.


Michael Moran [00:16:59] And now we need to wrap up this episode, but I wanted to make sure I gave you a chance to tell our listeners how they can follow your work and whether you're on social media.


Menno Lammers [00:17:09] Yeah. Now, of course, happy to to connect to LinkedIn and of course, subscribe to the to the newsletter on the pro-tax and proptech for good websites so you can get your monthly newsletter and stay at at the state had on the on the curve with the PropTech for future developments.


Michael Moran [00:17:32] Well, thank you again, Menno, and this is my chance to tell people that they can learn more about Microshare is getting the world safely back to work with our ever smart suite of products, ever smart solutions, boost efficiency, enables savings and bring safety and reassurance to people inside your building. You can learn more about that at. UWW, microshare I and you can subscribe to manifest density there or download it on Google Play and iHeartRadio and Spotify and iTunes and all sorts of places that'll do it for this week. On behalf of Microshare and all its global employees, I'd like to thank once again Menno Lammers for joining us. This is Michael Moran. Well, thank you for listening.

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