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all articles 8. January 2019

Sustainability: how we understand, implement and live it

Climate change is the great challenge of our time.

Put in drastic terms, what is at stake is nothing less than the question of how we can ensure the survival of (human) life on our planet.

Each of us can only control our own behaviour, deciding what individual footprint we want to leave behind. At SOY, we feel responsible above all to the next generation, and obliged to do our utmost to achieve a positive sustainable effect through our actions.

To us, sustainability means always looking closely and asking questions – many questions. And accepting that there will always be questions to which there is no immediate answer. We embrace sustainable action as a constant learning process.

With each new project SOY develops, we seek to contribute to making the world a bit better.

As a company, we are going a step further in this regard. We are committed to investing a part of the profits generated from the sales of our properties in initiatives that sustainably improve conditions for the environment and the population in the respective location. Accordingly, the majority of the available capital is dedicated to the promotion of start-ups devoted to sustainability, ecology and social issues.

How we implement sustainability in our projects

The construction as well as the operation of buildings represent a large share of global energy consumption. We therefore consider it our responsibility to examine the question of what positive contribution architecture can make, and how we can concretely realise this in our projects.

An important first step along this path was gaining the internationally renowned architectural firm OHLAB as a partner. OHLAB has received multiple distinctions, not just for its outstanding architectural language, but also for the exceptional sustainability of the properties it has designed and built.

For every location and every project, we work with the architects and energy experts involved to develop a sustainability concept tailored to the respective site and the possibilities it offers. The standard that we strive to achieve is to fulfil the requirements of a passive house. In doing so, we aim to develop our properties so that they are as self-reliant as possible and thus, ideally, independent of the external supply of power and water.

Why 95 per cent self-reliance can be more sustainable than 100 per cent

What is decisive here is to determine for each project whether a measure that would bring a greater degree of self-sufficiency would actually also be sustainable. Our experience shows that it can be more sustainable to design a project for ‘only’ 95 per cent self-reliance, as the remaining five per cent might come at what for us would be an unacceptable ecological cost – due to the use of non-sustainably produced insulating materials, for example.

Not until we have found the optimal, most sustainable solution for the respective project do we begin with its implementation. And if the solution tells us we are better off forgoing the last few percentage points in self-sufficiency so that we can maximise sustainability? No question – that is exactly what we do.

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Mallorca
Norway
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One of the last free plots in the centre of Soller's charming old town, only 3 minutes from the idyllic marketplace with its lively restaurants and cafes, yet quietly situated.

A gated community with 24 hour security in a wonderful setting, offering three golf courses, a 10 minute drive to Palma's old town, 15 minutes to Palma airport and international schools.