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JLL Spark’s Investment Approach to Sustainability

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Every year, JLL Spark Global Ventures reviews and refreshes our investment focus areas. In the past, sustainability had been one of a handful of investment pillars, sitting alongside construction tech, smart buildings, future of work, and others. This year, as we reflected on our investment priorities at our annual offsite, we agreed that we could no longer consider sustainability a siloed PropTech theme; instead, it has become a foundational dimension that cuts across all our investment focus areas.   

Ramya Ravichandar, VP of Sustainability Products at JLL Technologies (JLLT), concurs: “Every sustainable building will have to be a smart building. To be sustainable, you have to know where you stand. That means you have to measure what matters – energy consumption, embodied carbon, operational emissions, etc. You can’t be sustainable if you’re not smart.” 

JLL Spark and JLLT’s focus on sustainability tech reflects the importance of sustainability to both JLL and its clients. JLL is now among a handful of global companies to have a net zero goal in alignment with the Science Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) newly launched Net-Zero Standard, a science-based certification of companies’ net-zero targets. JLL’s sustainability goals focus on three key areas where JLL can make the greatest impact:  

Build: Climate action for sustainable real estate.  

JLL is committed to urgent climate action that accelerates the transition to net zero. To help support this goal, JLL Spark has invested in Ecoworks, a tech-enabled startup that retrofits older buildings with a ‘second skin’ of pre-assembled wooden panels containing insulation and, for rooftop sections, solar panels. They slash the amount of energy needed for heating and the solar panels generate more than enough energy for the occupants, both of which help cut CO2 emissions.  

Operate: Healthy spaces for all people 

JLL is also committed to creating safe and healthy spaces that promote productivity, wellbeing, and sustainability. In keeping with this objective, JLL Spark invested in Infogrid, a platform that utilizes cost effective and easy to deploy IoT devices, data automation, and machine learning to deliver rich data and insights. Infogrid’s solutions include Smart Cleaning, Energy Management, and ESG benchmarking and analytics, all of which help CRE stakeholders save time, money and carbon across their building operations.   

Occupy: Inclusive places for thriving communities 

Finally, JLL has committed to providing fair and inclusive places that create positive social impact and equal opportunities. To help support inclusive as well as sustainable environments, JLL Spark has invested in Aunt Flow, a provider of biodegradable free-vend menstrual solutions for workplaces and common areas. Aunt Flow’s offering helps clients make their restrooms greener and more accommodating to the health needs of its workforce.  

As investors, JLL Spark is excited to see what the coming year will bring in terms of sustainability innovation and we look forward to connecting with founders who are tackling the challenge of decarbonizing the built world. 

Read more on JLL’s commitment to sustainability and ESG and download the latest ESG performance report. 

Written by Kitty Sullivan, Investment Principal at JLL Spark

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