Five ways landlords and customers can work together to achieve shared sustainability goals
Amid rising energy costs, increased investor scrutiny and a changing regulatory backdrop, the real estate industry is advancing its transition to net zero.
Whilst solutions and technologies exist, achieving net zero targets remains a challenge, and something the industry cannot achieve in isolation: true change will only be possible through collaboration with customers, who are also trying to achieve their own sustainability goals. British Land recently held a series of roundtables with our customers to evaluate how we can better work together to achieve our shared net zero vision, with five key areas dominating the discussion.
1. Know your carbon footprint
What can be measured can be improved; before customers can attempt any positive step forward, they must first know where they stand. Though the real estate industry has historically suffered from a lack of consistent and transparent emissions data, advances in technology can enable landlords to support customers in capturing their data, providing insight into current performance and historical trends.
2. Establish what good looks like
Each business has a unique set of sustainability issues, but there is a common need for a better understanding of what best practice looks like when it comes to decarbonisation. Landlords can support customers by developing net zero audits which provide a baseline and a pathway to net zero at an asset level, something British Land completed for all its major office and retail assets last year.
3. Recognise a building’s whole life carbon contribution
Completing a whole life carbon study ahead of moving into a space can allow customers to
integrate carbon considerations into the entire design process. Helping them select the best fit-out materials and furniture to reduce not only their upfront carbon but also lifecycle carbon associated with future maintenance and repair work.
4. Think big, start small
Whilst some opportunities to install or retrofit low carbon technologies only occur every 15 years, small initiatives such as optimisation and operational performance reviews can still have significant impact. Fostering employee engagement is essential for increasing awareness of sustainability goals and boosting results.
5. Lead the change
Pioneering businesses of all shapes and sizes can drive industry-wide change by delivering benchmark-setting projects and embedding sustainability at the core of their operations. Landlords should continue to offer net zero solutions and a pathway for collaboration, and customers must be prepared to support these initiatives and suggest their own where possible. Climate change adaption and mitigation are everyone’s responsibility – and we all need to do our part.
Matt Webster, is head of environmental sustainability at British Land