A turbulent, rapidly changing world

2022 was a turbulent year, with the war in Ukraine, record-high inflation and an economic slowdown. Despite a sharp focus on liquidity and cost control, the company continued to develop the workplaces of the future for existing and prospective tenants.

Geopolitical turbulence left its mark on the world in 2022. When it appeared that the pandemic was on the wane, Russia invaded Ukraine. This triggered an energy crisis in Europe, the full consequences of which probably remain to be seen. Despite an average energy consumption that is around 40 per cent lower than the industry average, Castellum’s energy bill more than doubled during 2022. As a result of high energy prices, global inflation had reached its highest level in several decades, and the business cycle weakened in pace with the central banks raising key interest rates in their attempts to stave off inflation. The worsening macroeconomic situation also meant a drastic impairment of liquidity in the capital market for property companies, with higher financing costs and a lower level of transaction activity as a result.

New requirements on workplaces

In pace with the pandemic entering a more tranquil phase and most restrictions being lifted in 2022, people around the world began returning to their workplaces. ­Castellum can clearly see how views on the office are changing in its annual Work Life of the Future report. The requirements for practical and healthy workplaces are increasing, and workplaces are taking additional steps towards becoming the natural meeting place for colleagues and customers. The report provides -Castellum with strong documentation for helping its tenants develop the modern workplace that meets the strict requirements being set by these new times.

Climate issues challenged by the wallet

Just six months after the 2021 climate summit in Glasgow, where the world’s leaders were strengthened their view that action had to be taken to avoid a climate catastrophe, Russia invaded Ukraine. The climate problems that were highlighted as the most serious for the economy and humanity have – temporarily, in any case – faded into the background as many households are struggling to make their finances work, and energy prices are reaching new record levels. Even if emissions rise temporarily as a result of the energy crisis, major investments in non-fossil energy are now being made in Europe that will yield a positive climate footprint over the short term. The return on renewable energy broke all records during the year, and the repayment period for Castellum’s installations of numerous solar PV systems on its properties shrank from 12–13 years to 3–4 years.