Sonae group part of €25M ‘sustainability laboratories’ project for efficient buildings

  • Lusa
  • 18 January 2022

The project will start this month and will run for five years, having been one of the three selected among the 115 proposals submitted to Horizon 2020 LC-GD-4-1-2020.

Sonae and Sonae Capital are part of a European project that will invest €25 million in “sustainability laboratories”, one of which will be in Maia (Porto) where solutions for the design, construction and operation of efficient buildings will be tested.

“The ambition of the PROBONO project is to provide validated solutions for the design, construction and operation of both new and adapted buildings, with reduced emissions and positive energy, contributing to more sustainable communities,” says Sonae in a statement released Tuesday.

These solutions will be tested through “living labs” established in six European countries: Sonae Campus, in Maia (Portugal), Madrid (Spain), Dublin (Ireland), Brussels (Belgium), Aarhus (Denmark) and Prague (Czech Republic).

According to Sonae, the Sonae Campus currently includes “buildings that are a reference in terms of eco-efficiency, as is the case of Sonae Maia Business Center and Sonae Tech Hub, which is among the 100 buildings in the world with the highest score by the United States Green Building Council under LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification”.

As a result of the collaboration between the group companies under the PROBONO project, “around €1.37 million will now be invested in the Sonae Campus, for testing new solutions in areas such as biodiversity, energy and sustainability”.

“The project provides for the testing of the latest green energy technologies and the use of Sonae’s headquarters for third-party experimentation in the area of energy and biodiversity, with the testing of management and control tools to reduce emissions also planned”.

In parallel, Sonae Campus “will be the stage for the implementation of new solutions to increase biodiversity, such as the construction of vertical gardens, birdhouses and vegetable gardens”.

With an estimated total investment of €25 million, the PROBONO project brings together 47 partners from 15 countries. In Portugal, the consortium includes Sonae and its subsidiaries Sonae MC, Elergone and Sonae FS, as well as Capwatt, a Sonae Capital company.

Quoted in the statement, the CEO and member of Sonae’s Executive Committee João Günther Amaral guarantees that the company “is strongly committed to protecting the planet”, and the PROBONO project fits into this “effort to make the group increasingly sustainable and, at the same time, inspire collective change”.

“In 2015 we signed the Paris Agreement and in 2020 we reinforced this objective by making a commitment to carbon neutrality of our operations as early as 2040. By stimulating innovation and experimentation, as well as by developing new knowledge in the area of sustainability, we will pave the way for the entire community to learn about and adopt more planet-friendly practices and solutions,” he says.

In the same vein, the CEO of Sonae Capital, Miguel Gil Mata, states that “the active participation in the ‘living lab’ of Sonae Campus further reinforces Sonae Capital’s commitment to sustainability”.

“The PROBONO project, in which we participate through Capwatt, is aligned with its purpose of implementing integrated energy solutions, efficient and sustainable, to promote and facilitate the energy transition and decarbonisation of companies and countries. We thus take another solid step on the path to carbon neutrality and create knowledge for the Community,” he emphasizes.

The project will start this month and will run for five years, having been one of the three selected among the 115 proposals submitted to Horizon 2020 LC-GD-4-1-2020: Energy and Resource Efficient Building and Renewal.