JLL and Tétris Design and Build join forces to promote the growth of sustainable buildings

Organisations now see this as a critical decade for real progress to be made in decarbonising the built environment, according to JLL Global Research, requiring real estate to make complex changes in what will be a critical shift for the industry


Sustainability is no longer just a buzzword. Climate change is the defining crisis of our time and there is a notable rise in public concern about this looming disaster. Sixty-four percent of people believe climate change is a global emergency, according to a recent survey by the United Nations Development Programme and Oxford University.

With over half the world’s population believing the crisis requires urgent action, and 73% of investors saying that green strategies drive higher occupancy and higher rents, it is clear that the future of the built environment, one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions according to a UN report, will be impacted by necessary change. “There is no doubt that investment and uptake of real estate will increasingly favour spaces with ESG (environmental, social and governance) principles in place – the data on this is absolutely clear,” says Peter Harris, co-CEO of JLL, a leading professional services firm that specialises in real estate and investment management.

Emma Luyt, co-CEO of JLL and MD Tétris Design + Build South Africa and Peter Harris, co-CEO of JLL

JLL and Tétris join forces to champion a net zero world

Harris will be joining his co-CEO of JLL, Emma Luyt, who is also the MD of JLL-owned company, Tétris Design and Build South Africa, to promote sustainability in the building sector at this year’s Green Building Convention hosted by the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 2-4 November. As sponsors of the Convention, JLL and Tétris are bringing in their top specialists to talk about ESGs in the built environment and share their insights on how to embed a sustainable culture into organisations. “Together with Tétris, JLL aims to ‘Shape the future of real estate for a better world’ through sustainable methodologies and approaches to property. The challenge now is converting growing interest into tangible action among both landlords and tenants, and this is what we will be addressing at the Convention,” explains Harris.


While the commercial real estate sector has a notable role to play in promoting environmental sustainability, Luyt points out that building a better world is not just about creating greener buildings. “Microsoft’s Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella recently remarked that when it comes to workspaces post-COVID, care is the new currency. For me this means that we need to care for each other as well as the earth. For a company to be truly sustainable, focus also needs to be put on employee wellness, social responsibility, diverse and inclusive hiring policies and how a company is managed,” says Luyt.

These principals are core to everything JLL and Tétris does, both externally and internally. “A high level of investment has been put into bringing expertise into our own business, upskilling our staff and growing internal intellectual property through research and new technologies for better-performing, efficient buildings – our own and our clients’,” states Luyt.

Hanife Ymer, Head of Sustainability at JLL (Middle East and Africa)

The role of technology in driving change

Technology is currently playing a huge role in turning JLL’s and Tétris’ shared vision into a reality. After almost two years of development, Tétris will launch its Sustainability Code at the Green Building Convention. The Code is a methodology accessed through an app created to drive sustainable thinking, action and innovation in all Tétris projects. “This will be a global launch on the South African stage of a product that represents Tetris’ commitment to put practical, measurable and sustainable actions in place to ensure that projects move through sustainable intent and concepts to sustainability delivered. Like the BBEEE rating required by companies, a green fit-out rating for buildings almost certainly on the cards, and clients will need this kind of assistance to become compliant,” explains Luyt.


What to expect at the Green Building Convention

The 14th annual Green Building Convention will play host to leading local and international thoughts and ideas. Speakers at the Convention from JLL and Tétris include:

  • Hanife Ymer, Head of Sustainability at JLL (Middle East and Africa), who will present at a plenary session the steps to take for organisations to effect real change and achieve a carbon zero rating, financial planning and sustainable metrics. She has 20 years of specialist sustainability experience.
  • Zama Zaca, Head of New Business Development at Tétris, who will be launching the Tétris Sustainability Code and giving a presentation on the practicalities of delivering sustainable workspaces.
  • Wayne Godwin, Senior Vice President of JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group – Sub-Saharan Africa, who will be part of a panel discussion on: ‘What the hell is this ESG thing and where should companies focus?’
  • Joshua Askew FRICS, JLL Head of Valuation Head: Sub-Saharan Africa, who will head up a workshop on: ‘ESGs and Value, How can we reflect ESG /Sustainability Gains?’


Harris and Luyt will be available at the Convention to answer all your questions about the joint vision of JLL and Tétris. “We aim to partner and collaborate with organisations, institutions, clients and colleagues to help reach the net zero carbon emission goals required for the prosperity of our planet and its people,” concluded Harris.

For the full GBCSA Green Building Convention programme visit: