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4ENVIGO combines real estate, renewables expertise to build Romania’s sustainable future

Author 4ENVIGO
4ENVIGO combines real estate, renewables expertise to build Romania’s sustainable future

Bucharest-based 4ENVIGO provides solutions for the reduction of the carbon footprint of built environment, including engineering, procurement, and commercial development for climate smart solutions. Andrei Ivan is managing partner at 4ENVIGO.

Mr. Ivan, 4ENVIGO’s team has a background in the real estate and construction sector. What made you transition to the renewables and sustainability sector and how does your experience help you in this vertical?

Transitioning from real estate and commercial development to sustainability and renewables was a strategic decision driven by my passion for environmental stewardship and a commitment to making a positive impact on the built environment and by that, on our world. As a major consumer of energy, the real estate industry has one of the largest carbon footprints, with emissions from buildings making up about 40% of global emissions. Romania aims to achieve a per capita installed solar energy capacity for 2030 that is roughly one-third of the European Union's average, with a target of 279 W compared to the EU average of 758 W. The existing industrial infrastructure, totalling nearly 7 mln sq. m. of utility-scale projects, has the capacity to facilitate the rapid expansion of power generation systems utilising photovoltaic panels installed on warehouse rooftops.

In my previous role within the real estate sector, being part of the world's leading project development and construction groups, I gained valuable experience in project management, understanding the intricacies of large-scale developments, and navigating regulatory frameworks. However, it became increasingly clear that our global community faces pressing environmental challenges that demand innovative solutions.

The decision to join the renewables and sustainability sector was fuelled by the belief that sustainable practices are integral to the future of both business and society. I recognized the potential to leverage my background in real estate and construction to contribute meaningfully to the transition toward a cleaner and more sustainable built environment.

Understanding the complex regulatory environments have proven to be a highly transferable skill in the renewables sector. I have been able to streamline processes, increase the level of quality, health and safety, optimise project timelines, and effectively collaborate with diverse teams to drive sustainable initiatives forward. Overall, the transition to renewables and sustainability aligns with my personal values and professional goals, allowing me to apply my skills in a manner that directly contributes to a more sustainable and resilient future.

The realm of sustainability practices is quite demanding when it comes to expertise. What standards does 4envigo adhere to?

At 4ENVIGO, we prioritise adherence to internationally recognized benchmarks to ensure the credibility and effectiveness of our sustainability initiatives. Key standards include ISO 9001, 14001, and 450001 and we rigorously comply with local and international regulations and view these standards as integral to our mission of creating a positive environmental and societal impact. 

Personally, I find Global Reporting Initiative standards useful in helping businesses, governments, and other organisations on issues such as climate change, human rights, and corruption. I have been working with GRI standards and I recommend them to our potential customers as well.

4ENVIGO is part of the Romanian Green Building Council, can you tell us a bit more about the organisation and how does it support sustainable development?

The Romanian Green Building Council (RoGBC) is a non-profit organisation committed to advancing sustainable practices in Romania's construction and real estate sectors. As a member, 4ENVIGO aligns with RoGBC's mission to promote environmental responsibility. For instance, we launched a certification system for schools, called Green Schools that includes seven categories and 54 criteria related to the design, execution and operation stages of school buildings. Currently, 14 schools under construction or major renovation in the cities of Bucharest, Iasi and Cluj-Napoca, are in the process of Green Schools certification.

RoGBC facilitates this through advocacy, educational programs, and certification initiatives like the Romanian Green Homes certification. The council serves as a collaborative platform, fostering networking and knowledge-sharing among professionals and institutions. Additionally, RoGBC conducts research, ensuring members, including 4ENVIGO, stay at the forefront of green building innovations.

Through policy influence, the council works to shape regulations favouring sustainable development. By being part of RoGBC, 4ENVIGO supports the educational programs, such as the Management of Sustainable Buildings course that I love hosting twice a year, with eight hours of training for about 120 attendees.

In summary, RoGBC plays a pivotal role in driving sustainable practices, and 4ENVIGO, as a member, actively engages in the collective effort towards a more environmentally responsible built environment in Romania.