Managing sustainable buildings

 

By minimising our use of natural resources and improving the efficiency of our assets, we reduce the environment impact of our portfolio and contribute to a more sustainable London.

Energy use and efficiency

In order to reduce the carbon emissions of our portfolio, it is necessary to focus on the energy use in our occupied properties. 100% of the landlord energy sourced and purchased by us at our properties is from renewable, zero carbon tariffs. However, we recognise that we must also drive energy efficiency improvements to meet our carbon emissions reduction targets.  

Our energy action plans help us identify where energy efficiency improvements can be made and we actively manage our spaces with lower rated Energy Performance Certificates to improve our ratings.

During the year we reduced our exposure to F and G ratings, with less than 0.4% of our rated portfolio currently with a rating lower than an E.

Energy Performance Certificates do not however address operational energy performance. We therefore ensure we have energy action plans in place for all our assets, track energy consumption on a monthly basis and undertake building energy audits. To see our performance on energy and carbon see our Sustainability Performance Data report.

Smaller scale refurbishments

It is important that we take the opportunity to improve sustainability whenever we refurbish space, irrelevant of size and scale. For smaller refurbishments under 50,000 sq ft we use the RICS SKA certification system, targeting a silver rating as a minimum standard with the ultimate aim of achieving gold. SKA provides a framework to ensure that our contractors consider sustainability and wellbeing within the design and refurbishment process. Where opportunities exist to repurpose space in existing buildings we look to retrofit cycle stores and urban greening.

Our energy and carbon targets

2030

target to reduce energy intensity by 40% and carbon intensity by 69% of buildings within our operational control

100%

of our new build developments to be net zero carbon from 2030

In order to drive improvements in energy efficiency, we have also set long-term energy and carbon targets:

To reduce the energy intensity (kWh/m²) of buildings within our operational control by 40% and our carbon intensity (kgCO2e/m²) by 69% by 2030.

Our business model is to buy unloved assets and reposition them, often through refurbishment or redevelopment. This means that new acquisitions and property disposals are likely to take place during the target period. We have therefore set out the following parameters to deal with this when measuring our progress against our targets:

  • Our energy intensity target applies to our occupied properties with landlord controlled areas. It does not apply to properties wholly controlled by our occupiers (on FRI leases) or those under development.
  • Where we dispose of properties during the target period, we undertake a normalisation calculation based on floor area.
  • Where we acquire assets we will include them in the target after 36 months. This allows us to identify a baseline, set the business plan for the asset and put budgets in place to start implementing energy efficiency improvements.
  • Where we develop properties and they return to the occupied portfolio as a property with landlord controlled areas, we will immediately add them to the target as our development interventions, soft landings process and commitment to design for performance should ensure that the property is well understood upon handover. 

Additionally, we have also committed to ensuring that all our new build developments are net zero carbon by 2030 and to set out our approach and timescale to become a net zero carbon business during the next financial year. For more on how we are designing energy efficiency buildings see Developing sustainable buildings.

Waste management and water consumption

100% of waste from our occupied buildings is diverted from landfill. We support our occupiers in improving waste management processes, looking to segregate waste to ensure as a high a recycling rate as possible. Progress is monitored through occupier meetings and via the occupier app. For our performance see our Sustainability Performance Data Report.

We monitor water consumption on a monthly basis, providing data to our occupiers on a regular basis. Our climate change risk review has identified potential water shortages as a longer term risk to our portfolio. We are undertaking water audits to identify the potential for savings with new water targets to be set during the forthcoming year.

Working with occupiers

As occupiers move into their space, our building management team ensures that their systems are fully integrated with our landlord-operated systems. By following a soft landings process, our design team is available post-handover, to address any issues as occupiers install their systems. We also fully brief our building management team on the sustainability features of our properties.

Key to long-term reductions in energy and resource use is engagement with our occupiers. We provide regular updates on sustainability performance in occupier meetings and through our occupier app including energy and water consumption data, waste recycling rates and updates on local community related initiatives.

Environmental compliance

Environmental compliance was identified as one of our material issues as part of our review of material risks. Our Environmental Management System is maintained to monitor legislative compliance, minimise the risk of pollution, facilitate the management of key environmental risks and assist in the achievement of specific objectives and targets.

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