Property giant unveils new sustainability strategy designed to transform its entire portfolio, slashing both embodied and operational emissions in the process
One of the UK's largest commercial property firms has announced ambitious new plans to deliver net zero emissions across its entire portfolio, including new developments by the end of the decade.
British Land yesterday unveiled a new Sustainability Strategy and announced the launch of a British Land Transition Fund to drive investment in a raft of projects to help deliver on its new emissions targets.
The new strategy replaces its previous five year sustainability programme, which is credited with cutting energy intensity across its property by 55 per cent and reducing carbon intensity by 73 per cent against a 2009 base line.
However, the company said it was now strengthening its emissions targets further to slash both embodied and operational carbon across its portfolio in support of an overarching goal to deliver net zero emissions by 2030.
Specifically, the strategy commits British Land to cutting embodied carbon by 50 per cent and carbon intensity by 75 per cent against a new 2019 baseline.
Moreover, 100 per cent of developments delivered from this year will deliver net zero embodied carbon, while the company said it will prioritise retro-fit projects over new build developments wherever possible.
Delivery of the targets will be backed by a bespoke Transition Fund that will be resourced through an internal fee of £60 per tonne of carbon that will be levied on new developments, which will provide both a financial incentive to reduce emissions and a replenishing fund to invest in new low carbon innovations.
"The first of its kind, the fund will accelerate the path to net zero by driving innovation in development, financing the retrofit of the standing portfolio, and supporting customers in transforming their own space to reduce emissions," British Land said in a statement.
Simon Carter, chief financial officer at British Land, the company was now looking to accelerate its decarbonisation efforts in support of the UK's wider net zero goal.
"In the final year of our five year programme, we pushed the boundaries on environmental performance," he said. "We're particularly pleased to have improved the energy efficiency of our portfolio by 55 per cent and are equally proud of the investment we've made to support the communities that host our assets across the UK.
"Building on this excellent work, we are keen to accelerate the progress we've made over the last decade by setting ourselves bold stretching targets for the decade ahead. As a long-term investor in our places, we have the unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the environment and the communities where we operate. Our strategy focuses on the two areas where we think British Land can create the most benefit; making our whole portfolio net zero carbon and partnering to grow social value and wellbeing in the places where we operate."
The Net Zero Leadership Hub is brought to you in partnership with BT, as part of its support for the Net Zero Leadership Stream at the world's first Net Zero Festival this autumn. All the content on the Hub is fully editorially independent unless otherwise stated.
You can find out more about the Net Zero Festival and reserve your place here.