Working towards a Net Zero Carbon platform
Leading by example can be a powerful way to inspire our client investors and our tenants to invest in sustainability and green buildings. While our platform has a lower impact than our portfolio, every improvement counts and we are always looking for opportunities to reduce our footprint here.
Our commitment to drive down our environmental impact applies as fully to our own operations as to our assets under management. Our operational carbon emissions come mainly from energy use in our
six offices, air travel and company cars. Currently, 86% of our offices have green energy contracts and we aim to raise this to 100% by 2023, while solar panels on the roof of our Amsterdam office supplied 96% of our total office energy consumption there in 2021. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and colleagues having to work from home, this percentage was extremely high, and we expect it to be lower again in a ‘normal’ year.
Net Zero Carbon platform
In keeping with Mission 2040, we aim to maintain a Net Zero Carbon platform. Our platform is already carbon neutral as we compensate the scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions related to our activities and operations as investment and asset manager. In 2019 we bought offset certificates from Gold Standard to offset our 2018 emissions. In 2020 we entered a longer-term partnership with Land Life Company to offset CO2 emissions from our platform’s operations. Through Land Life Company our emissions of 237 tonnes of CO2 in 2020 were offset by planting trees in northern Spain. Our 2021 emissions of 253 tonnes of CO2 will be offset by Land Life Company again. While offsetting certainly contributes to a more resilient environment, we view it as a last resort and our principal focus is on actively driving down our emissions further. Now that we are returning to a more balanced way of working that includes some commuting and business travel, we will focus on making deliberate choices in that regard to continue reducing our office operations footprint.
Our 2021 emissions of 253 tonnes of CO2 will be offset by Land Life Company
A slight increase in CO2 in 2021 compared to 2020
When we successfully met our emissions target for 2019, it represented a 50% reduction against the 2009 baseline (see previous reports for details). In early 2020 we subsequently set a new emissions target of 2,000 kg CO2 per employee by 2025, representing a further 35% reduction compared to 2019. This target was easily surpassed in 2020 (1,019 kg CO2 per employee) due to the pandemic and its various lockdowns and restrictions. Our performance in 2021 was 1,242 kg CO2 per employee, a small increase due to slowly resuming some business travel. Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to play a major role in 2021, with travel restrictions and lockdowns in many regions. As most restrictions across Europe were lifted in early 2022, we look forward to being able to compare the carbon footprint of our ‘new normal’ way of working to the ‘business as usual’ approach prior to the pandemic. Behavioural change will be the biggest driver to ensure that we stay on track for our medium-term 2025 target.