Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) just announced the advancement of its climate and sustainable research agenda, pushing the idea that academia and industry collaboration is crucial for the real estate sector to mitigate climate change. The MIT Center for Real Estate (MIT/CRE) has focused research on the real estate industry since its founding in 1983. Since then, the institute has cultivated a wealth of research and real estate-related courses. With the ensuing climate crisis looming overhead, MIT came to the conclusion that keeping their knowledge confined to academic journals may not be the most effective way to enact sustainable change in the real estate sector. In order to quickly scale more sustainable practices, including building decarbonization, the circular economy in real estate, and modeling and pricing of climate risk, MIT/CRE has established a global network of researchers and industry leaders.
“Dissemination of research is critical to the success of our efforts to address climate change in the real estate industry,” was the statement given by David Geltner, Professor of Real Estate Finance and former director of MIT/CRE. “If we produce excellent research but it is cloistered in academic journals, it does no one any good. Similarly, if we do not work with collaborators to focus our research, we run the risk of investigating levers to reduce emissions that are of no use to practitioners.” MIT’s network consists of industry leaders such as Colliers, Moody’s Analytics, Veris Residential, and KPF as well as others, and will undoubtedly lead to more insightful research in the future.