In the first of our two-part episode series on climate change and the built environment, Greg Smithies, Partner of Fifth Wall where he leads the Climate Technology Investment team, joins Matt to discuss sustainability in the real estate sector. Greg is the second guest on Leading Voices from Fifth Wall as Co-Founder and Managing Partner Brad Greiwe was featured in 2019. Our industry, the built environment, is responsible for about 40% of total global carbon emissions, about 3/4 of which comes from existing buildings and about 1/4 from construction and deconstruction. Addressing our industry’s carbon footprint in addition to finding adaptation strategies to cope with climate change will be a large global investment in real estate over the coming years. Greg provides a high-level global perspective on sustainability and shares how Fifth Wall’s $500M fund focusing on “climate tech” is a start in a burgeoning area of investment.
Prior to joining Fifth Wall, Greg was a Partner at BMW i Ventures where he led the Sustainability investing practice, investing in companies such as Prometheus Fuels, and PureCycle (NASDAQ: ROCH). Before joining BMW i Ventures, Greg led Finance & Operations for both The Boring Company and Neuralink simultaneously.
Greg started his investment career at Battery Ventures where he covered early-stage enterprise technology startups, as well as industrial technology buyouts. Successful exits from his work there include Nutanix (NASDAQ: NTNX), AppDynamics (acquired by Cisco Systems, Inc.), and IST (acquired by Scott Brand).
Greg was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and currently lives in Oakland, CA. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School where he received a BS in Economics and a BS in Computer Science.
- Brad Greiwe | Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Fifth Wall
- David Radcliffe | VP Real Estate & Workplace Services at Google
- John Helm | Managing Director of RET Ventures
- The REInterview: Real estate’s climate reckoning, with Fifth Wall’s Brendan Wallace and Greg Smithies (The Real Deal, March 2021)
- The Ministry for the Future, by Kim Stanley Robinson