Over 250 real estate professionals from 42 countries – including 12 FIABCI Past World Presidents - attended the 38th FIABCI Global Business Summit to network and unlock new business opportunities while learning more about green and sustainable practices in real estate, under the theme “Green Buildings and Innovative Urban Planning”. Ghent, a finalist for the European Green Capital Award for two years running, was the city selected to host the Summit that took place in the NH Belfort hotel from December 4 to 7.
Greening the sector: Buildings alone generate nearly 40% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions
When delivering his welcome remarks, FIABCI World President Walid Moussa talked about the challenges faced by the building sector, in particular CO2 emissions and the increase in energy demand reported by the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction as well as the Programme for Energy Efficiency in Buildings, two of the Summit’s official partners.
“While this may sound like a lot of doom and gloom…the Global Alliance also reports that our sector offers the largest cost-effective greenhouse gas mitigation potential, with net cost savings and economic gains possible through the implementation of existing technologies, policies and building designs.”, Mr. Moussa continued.
Building on this positive note, the 4-day event’s offered participants a busy program of panel discussions, informational sessions and practical workshops with useful tools and knowledge on energy efficiency, green investment, digital solutions, the Paris Agreement, among other topics covered by an impressive line-up of over 30 speakers, from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to the French Ministry of Ecological and Inclusive Transition. In addition to this, the program also focused on the challenges and opportunities for different real estate professionals and on the perspectives of different regions across the world.
Business Networking and Social Events
Attendees and their guests had the opportunity to take part in an array of property tours, including the “Centrale” and Dok Noord, and social events such as a boat ride on Ghent’s canals, a chocolate workshop and a visit to the Belfry tower. The icing on the cake was the traditional welcome cocktail – attended by the Mayor of Ghent, Mr. Mathias De Clerq -, and farewell dinner, followed by a charity art auction for the FIABCI Scholarship.
As is customary, the Administrative and International Divisions’ meetings took place on the last day of the Global Business Summit, in order to present their 2019 reports and discuss other issues regarding the activities of the several committees. That same afternoon was reserved for the federation’s General Assembly that ended with the official signing of the 72nd World Real Estate Congress to be held in Paris, France.