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. Our commitment to drive down our environmental impact applies as fully to our own operations as to our assets under management.
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 operational carbon emissions come mainly from energy use in our six* offices, air travel and company cars.
For the energy use in our offices we try to apply the same rules as to our portfolio: reduce energy demand as much as possible and use on- and off-site renewable energy for the remainder. Currently, 86% of our offices have green energy contracts and we aim to raise this to 100% in 2023. Only one office has not yet switched to a “green contract” as this office is scheduled to be refurbished in 2023. An excellent opportunity to make this a more sustainable office. The solar panels on the roof of our Amsterdam office supplied close to 75% of our total office energy consumption there in 2022. This percentage is unfortunately lower than last year (96%) because there was less energy generated on-site and at the same time the total energy consumption went up again after ending the COVID-19 restrictions and colleagues came back to the office.
*After the acquisition of redos in April 2022, we now have seven offices. The data pertaining to our office operations exclude the redos office based in Hamburg.
Net Zero Carbon platform
In keeping with Mission 2040, we aim to further reduce the environmental impact of our platform’s operations. We measure our full scope 1 and 2 emissions as well as the Scope 3 emissions related to our business air travel. We do not currently track or measure other scope 3 emissions related to our business operations. For several years now, we compensate the emissions related to these platform emissions only. In 2019 we started offsetting our 2018 platform emissions with certificates from Gold Standard. 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 and 253 in 2021 were offset by planting trees in northern Spain. Our 2022 emissions of 325 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.
In 2020 we entered a longer-term partnership with Land Life Company to offset CO2 emissions from our platform's operations.
Returning to ‘normal’ shows an increase in CO2 in 2022 compared to 2021
Now that we returned 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. One of the initiatives we will take again is organising a Travel Awareness Month again in April 2023 to make our colleagues aware of making more sustainable choices whether business travel is necessary. 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 already in 2020 (1,019 kg CO2 per employee) due to the pandemic and its various lockdowns and restrictions. But after a more regular year, also our performance in 2022 was, with 1,514 kg CO2 per employee, on track with our 2025 target. As expected we did see an increase compared to 2021 due to mainly resumed air travel and to a lesser extent increased energy use in our offices. To continue to stay on track with our medium-term 2025 target behavioural change will be the biggest driver to ensure that we stay on track.