Progresus Invest Holding cofounders Lukáš Foral and Lukáš Zrůst give the scoop on why wooden buildings are the future.
Progresus Invest Holding is an international investment group that manages a diverse portfolio of innovative companies and projects. Its core business is manufacturing, residential real estate development and real estate development of logistic parks. Operating in the Czech Republic
with investment activities throughout Central Europe, the pair organically grow by acquiring companies that synergically complete Progresus portfolio and expand into many European markets This includes information technology, law and insolvency, hospitality business, food
supplement development and development and production of sustainable materials.
LF: It is kind of our evolution, but not a revolution. Lukáš and I are building our group dynamically. In segments that have a snowball feature of synergistic business opportunities and acquisitions, similar to Richard Branson or Elon Musk. Then suddenly you look back, and a diversified billion-dollar group has grown under your watch. It all started with the first acquisition and entry into the industry of manufacturing plants in the field of wood construction. It was wood that made us aware of the incredible business potential in sustainability and ESG. And with that, we at Progresus also started the succession of purchasing other production plants, implementing our own
development projects, and investing in renewable resource technologies.
LZ: Our portfolio includes the largest manufacturer of wooden buildings in the Czech Republic, and we are the number one developer of family houses. We are following this up with the construction of “wooden apartments.” Wooden buildings are the future. They are healthy, fast, precise, low-cost and smart. Within five years, with the help of automation and optimisation, we want to move RD
Rýmařov to 3,000 manufactured houses per year, which is a turnover of CZK 14 billion. Just for the sake of interest, according to estimates, the EU market offers a potential of up to CZK 324 billion per year.
At the end of last year, you announced the entry into industrial development, which should be completely emission-free since 2030. Can such a goal be achieved? So where exactly are you headed?
LZ: It’s true, at the end of last year we announced our entry into the industrial buildings segment, where we intend to build and maintain a portfolio exceeding one billion euros within a few years. We have bought the first plots of land and are building the first hall. However, our partner is a group that has built almost 200 of them across the E.U. Of course, we enter this segment with our vision of a better
tomorrow, so our parks will consistently fulfil this vision.
LF: As I said, we will be evolutionary here as well. Especially in the areas of zero emissions and renewable sources.
LZ: On the contrary, the ecological transformation of development is a big challenge for us. As I said, our motto is “a better tomorrow” and for us this means reducing the CO2 footprint, renewable resources and responsible behaviour.
Europe has been experiencing a green frenzy for several years now, and the ecological transformation of development in the next decade will literally revolutionise the entire industry. Will following and fulfilling these limits be more of an obstacle for you, or do you see them more as an opportunity?
LF: The ecological transformation of development is for us a clear and correct business path, in addition, sealed
by law. As of 2028, all new buildings and halls must be certified for zero emissions. By 2030, the goal is to reduce emissions by 55%, and from 2030 residential and industrial development must be completely emission-free. The E.U.’s Climate Neutrality Program is thus strengthening our investment steps. From my point of view, we work a bit like in the Minority Report. The truth is that Warren Buffett is the best at predicting the future in the investment world. However, in our concept of a better tomorrow—we have the privilege of not being a passive holder of company shares, but proactively developing and managing the opportunities around us for future generations. By acquiring amazing
factories that have been built here for decades and continue their development and tradition. The use of technologies and renewable resources that we implement in pan- European development projects will complement them. And all this and crucially by using the infinite intellectual
capital we have here. Together, when we look back, we will be proud to have contributed to the ecological transformation of our old continent.
So you agree with the Fit For 55 program, don’t you?
LZ: Yes, we do. We love our world, and we want it to be there for our children and their children’s children. For us, this is a really big challenge that completely corresponds with our strategy for a better tomorrow. We have a factory for wooden buildings, we want to build a skyscraper out of wood, we want to bring wood into renewable sources, and most of all we want to bring a “green” evolution to industrial development.
LF: Almost 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions are due to real estate development and construction. The Fit For 55 package of the European Parliament is the solution. At the same time, an investment opportunity for which we are ready. All of our business moves and acquisitions address program fulfilment.
You mentioned the foundation of a fund. What kind of fund will it be and when will you open it to investors?
LZ: We create investment funds with the aim of improving tomorrow. Our fund strategies are clear and simple. The first is a fund that will invest in evolutionary industrial parks based on renewable resources and premium tenants, offering investors a share of the rental profits of these parks. The second is a fund for the construction and keeping of renewable resources— solar, wind, hydrogen and water.
LF: And the third is a fund to maintain residential projects. In other words, a rental housing fund with added value that is for want of another term healthy and with the ambition to reduce the CO2 footprint.