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As Protests Grip The Globe, Big Real Estate Firms Sign Climate Emergency Pledge

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As Protests Grip The Globe, Big Real Estate Firms Sign Climate Emergency Pledge
Climate strike protest

As a climate strike led by schoolchildren spread around the globe Friday, a group of the UK’s biggest property companies signed a pledge to make their portfolios net carbon zero by 2050.

Launched by the Better Buildings Partnership, the Climate Change Commitment has been signed by 23 of its members, which combined have assets under management of £300B, manage more than 11,000 commercial properties globally, and are responsible for more than 1.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

The companies have committed to be net zero carbon by 2050 and to publicly publish by the end of 2020 how they are going to get there.

New and existing buildings will need to become net carbon neutral. This will cover both operational carbon and embodied carbon — essentially, looking at materials used to build and also to maintain buildings — and critically, the commitment will include the impact of the energy consumed by the buildings' occupiers.

Signatories will also report annually on the progress compared to their plans and disclose the energy performance of their portfolios, improving transparency within the market.

“We face a climate crisis that requires an urgent and unified response,” Hermes Investment Management Head of Private Markets Chris Taylor said. “By bringing together many commercial property owners, and in holding them accountable for the energy performance of their portfolios, this commitment has the potential to make a real, tangible difference to the way that we, as an industry, address the pressing issue of climate change.”

The Better Buildings Partnership called for more property companies to sign the commitment, and said it would help those that wanted to make the pledge work out how to do so.

The companies that made the commitment are:

    •    Aberdeen Standard Investments
    •    Aviva Investors Real Estate
    •    British Land
    •    Bruntwood
    •    Canary Wharf Group
    •    Capital & Regional
    •    DWS
    •    Great Portland Estates Plc
    •    Grosvenor Britain & Ireland
    •    Grosvenor Europe
    •    Hammerson Plc
    •    Hermes Investment Management
    •    Intu
    •    Landsec
    •    LaSalle Investment Management
    •    LGIM Real Assets
    •    Lendlease Europe
    •    Low Carbon Workplace
    •    M&G Real Estate
    •    Nuveen Real Estate
    •    Schroder Real Estate Investment Management
    •    SEGRO
    •    Transport for London
    •    Workspace Group Plc