Tackling the growing risks of climate change is one of our greatest global challenge. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted that we are facing a global climate crisis and must limit global warming to 1.5 degrees to reduce the risks associated with long lasting or irreversible changes to the earths’ atmosphere and ecosystems. To achieve this, global net human caused emissions of carbon dioxide would need to reach net zero by 2050.
Collectively, our members work together to improve the sustainability of their real estate portfolios. Over the past six years our members have reduced the carbon intensity of their portfolios by 26%. This is a significant improvement, but we recognise it is not enough. It is clear that buildings will have to be net zero carbon by 2050.
In recognition of this challenge and the transformation that is required across the real estate sector, we have worked collaboratively with our members to develop the following Climate Change Commitment. The signatories listed below hope that their leadership provides an important catalyst for change within the sector and encourages other property owners to follow suit.
Climate Change Commitment
We, the undersigned, make the following commitments:
- By the end of 2020, we will each publish our own net zero carbon pathway, outlining our trajectory towards net zero carbon new and existing buildings and will address:
- Operational carbon, critically covering whole building performance including our tenant’s activities.
- Embodied carbon of development, refurbishment and fit-out works.
- In developing our net zero carbon pathways we will follow the principles of the energy hierarchy to ensure effort is focused first on reducing energy demand and improving energy efficiency. To this end, we will support the development of property specific Energy Use Intensity (EUI) targets.
- We will each annually disclose our progress towards our net zero carbon pathway and in doing so, explain the scope and implementation of this commitment as it relates to our individual business.
- We will publicly disclose the energy performance of our portfolios, where we have permission to do so, as a minimum at a portfolio level by geography, and ideally at a property level, and support efforts to develop consistent industry performance disclosure and benchmarks.
- By 2022, we will develop comprehensive climate change resilience strategies for our portfolios and work together to develop consistent industry disclosure on climate change risks in line with industry standards, including the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosure.
- To support the implementation of this commitment, we will work with the BBP to:
- Develop guidance on net zero carbon pathways for property owners to encourage greater consistency in definitions and boundaries.
- Develop clear guidance for the industry on the procurement of renewable energy for real estate assets to ensure that any purchasing in the UK creates additional capacity.
- Convene an ‘owner & occupier’ forum inviting our tenants to challenge property owners and engage with us to improve the performance of the space they occupy in line with our net zero carbon pathways.
Members of the BBP have diverse portfolios with different ownership and leasing structures, management arrangements and occupiers - how we implement these commitments within our businesses will differ. However, it is important to emphasise that we will adopt a ‘comply or explain’ approach to this commitment, with the intention that it will cover as many buildings as possible within our portfolios - the scale of the challenge ahead makes this absolutely imperative.
We see the real estate market’s transition to a low carbon economy as an opportunity to drive innovation, respond to future demands and expectations of our occupiers and investors, and open up new markets for investment in real estate.
To meet these commitments will require unprecedented collaboration across the industry. We therefore also call upon:
- All our stakeholders (e.g. investors, occupiers, architects, engineers, contractors, managing agents, facilities managers) to disclose their own pathways to net zero carbon buildings and actively engage with us to help us deliver on these commitments.
- Professional bodies and built environment institutions to develop industry standards and support these with education and training to upskill the industry to deliver net zero carbon buildings.
- Government to deliver a supportive legislative agenda with a clear long-term trajectory to achieve net zero carbon buildings.
- All property owners to adopt the same commitments.
We will work with the BBP to monitor and report on our progress and to spearhead collaborative, collective action that delivers better buildings and creates long-term value for all of our stakeholders, including future generations.
The following companies are Signatories of the BBP Climate Commitment, bringing the total to 25 companies (including Grosvenor Britain & Ireland as well as Grosvenor Europe):