Mark E Rose
New York – Leading CEOs have pledged to reduce and achieve their real estate emissions by 50% by 2030 net zero carbon no later than 2050.
With buildings accounting for 38% of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, leaders across all industries have a critical role to play in reducing their global real estate emissions.
“While real estate accounts for nearly 40% of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, the sector is often neglected in an organization’s decarbonization and sustainability strategies,” said Matthew Blake, Head of Financial and Monetary Systems, World Economic Forum. “Executives across all industries have a responsibility to take action on their real estate GHG emissions to ensure progress on the fight against climate change.”
The following companies have committed to halve their building-related emissions by 2030 and to achieve net-zero building emissions by 2050:
· GPFI Group
· Majid Al Futtaim properties
These firms will achieve these goals by implementing the Forum’s green building principles. Released last year, the Green Building Principles: The Action Plan for Net-Zero Carbon Buildings provide a clear sequence of steps to deploy net-zero carbon real estate portfolios:
1. Calculate a robust carbon footprint of your portfolio over the last representative year to inform targets
2. Set a target year to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest, and an interim target to reduce at least 50% of those emissions by 2030
3. Measure and capture the embodied carbon of new developments and major renovations
4. Maximize emissions reductions for all new developments and major upgrades in the pipeline to ensure delivery of net-zero CO2 (operational and embodied) by the final target year selected
5. Drive energy optimization in both existing assets and new developments
6. Maximizing on-site renewable energy supply
7. Ensure external energy is 100% from renewable sources where available
8. Engage with stakeholders you influence in your value chain to reduce Scope 3 emissions
9. Compensate for any residual emissions by purchasing high-quality CO2 offsets
10. Engage with stakeholders to identify common efforts and equitably share costs and benefits of interventions
Developed in collaboration with JLL, the World Green Building Council and the Forum’s real estate community, the Green Building Principles are open to formal adoption by companies and include an action plan detailing implementation.
The Action Plan provides global best practice guidance on how to implement the Principles for all stakeholders, from owners to users to investors. The signatories report annually on their progress as part of their public sustainability reporting and take part in a practitioner group to find solutions for implementation.
Signatories share why they have committed to the Principles:
“More sustainable real estate is imperative,” said Coen van Oostrom, Edge’s founder and chief executive officer. “The Principles provide a clear roadmap to help all building stakeholders get on top of their emissions and deliver better buildings. The world deserves better buildings and it is entirely possible to significantly reduce the impact of existing and new buildings.”
“It is imperative that we address real estate-related emissions,” said Christian Ulbrich, global chief executive officer and president of JLL. “Getting started is often the hardest part, and the Principles provide a simple set of steps to do this. We believe it is easier to reach net zero in the built environment than it is for many companies to reach net zero in their core business and the business case is there to support action.”
“The focus on bringing the world’s leading companies and public figures together to collectively address issues like climate change and drive social change is fundamental to what Avison Young stands for. ESG considerations across the board need to be addressed by the real estate sector – buildings have a tremendous impact on our daily lives and the planet,” said Mark E. Rose, Chairman and CEO of Avison Young. “We’re excited to embrace green building principles and show our colleagues that achieving net-zero is not only possible, it’s essential for better built environments and more resilient and prosperous cities.”
“Real estate, by its very nature, requires long-term thinking, and as such we have a duty to invest with conviction and build a legacy for future generations,” said Nathalie Palladitcheff, President and CEO of Ivanhoé Cambridge. “We have a shared opportunity and responsibility to decarbonize the built environment, and this ambitious commitment will require a transformation of practices across the real estate value chain.”
“The industry has traditionally viewed investing in sustainability as a trade-off with other aspects such as customer experience, but it is very clear that we need to change our mindset,” said Ahmed Galal Ismail, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Properties. “Sustainability is actually a compromise and sustainable assets are more valuable. We are committed to transforming our portfolio and proving what is possible in accordance with the Principles.”
“We have the innovation to both transform the current building stock through electrification and digitalization, and to develop smart, green buildings of the future,” said Philippe Delorme, Executive Vice President, European Operations, Schneider Electric. “Schneider Electric is proud to take the principles and show how we can transform buildings into healthier, more efficient and ultimately carbon neutral buildings.”
“We remain committed to the planet and care about our real estate footprint,” said Harsh Chitale, CEO, Digital Solutions Division, Signify. “The Principles are an ideal way to help any type of business address emissions from the buildings they own and/or occupy.”