Mission 2040: investing responsibly in a global context
Redevco’s motto is ‘Business in Balance’. The link to responsible investing in this context is that we seek to invest in buildings that are sustainable in every sense of the word: commercial, social, environmental and financial. This means investing in urban environments that are both inspiring and appealing – now and for future generations. We choose to deliberately improve the environmental performance of the properties that we manage, in both construction and operational activities, to help us pass our assets on in a better state than when we acquired them.
One of the most important and urgent topics for the entire real estate sector is the growing realisation of the impact the built environment has on our climate through carbon emissions. Whilst we still actively champion a holistic approach to environmental sustainability, Redevco wants to make a clear contribution to reducing carbon emissions in line with our materiality and maturity assessment. For this reason, Redevco launched ‘Mission 2040’ at the end of 2019: it is our commitment to strive towards a Net Zero Carbon portfolio by 2040.
2020 was intended to be the year for real activation of Mission 2040 within our own organisation. COVID-19 has impacted our approach in a number of ways. On the downside, internal engagement was more challenging as our colleagues all worked from home. Our commercial teams largely focused their attention on communicating with and trying to support our retail tenants. On the upside, however, the past year has also contributed to a significant perception change relating to the negative impact our ‘business as usual’ approach was having on the planet. We have all come to recognise that we don’t need to travel as much for work meetings. Commuting can also be reduced. Just these changes to individual lifestyles have helped to focus attention on the bigger challenges for our sector.
As a responsible investment manager, the past year has strengthened our conviction and intrinsic motivation to be a ‘force for good’, engaging and aligning with our investor clients to take deliberate action in the portfolios we manage. And through our external engagement and communication, we try to actively contribute to changing the real estate investment and management sector to become low carbon, circular and resource-efficient. We do this in the context of internationally-accepted goals such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the targets set out in the Paris Agreement of 2015.
Alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals
While all 17 SDGs are globally significant, we have identified four SDGs that relate to our business, and our top-3 material issues so that we can focus on high-impact areas. We believe that incorporating SDGs this way will enable us to set clear targets, increase awareness, measure our impact and evaluate our progress.
The most material goals reflect our ambition to be a ‘Force for Good’ as well as our aim to take leadership in the transition to a resilient and net zero carbon built environment. Launching Mission 2040 and working actively towards a Net Zero Carbon portfolio in the coming two decades is our way of contributing deliberately to two significant SDGs, namely SDG 7: Clean and Affordable Energy and SDG 13: Climate Action. See the next chapter Our roadmap to 2040.
Additionally, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities embodies the increasingly important fundamental principles of social sustainability as impacted by the built environment. We will seek to make a meaningful contribution to this goal through our investments and active asset management and development, providing high-quality and well-managed buildings to their occupiers.
At the same time, Redevco’s employees are actively involved in national and international industry councils and associations in order to share knowledge and insights with industry professionals that share our mission and vision. It is our conviction that participating in these forums helps us have a positive impact on moving our industry forward and reflects our contribution to SDG 17: Partnership for the goals.
Science Based Targets
In the context of our Mission 2040 commitment, we are excited to share that we are currently preparing to commit to setting a Science-Based Target. Science-based targets show companies how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change. We will set a target for all Scope 1, Scope 2 and material Scope 3 carbon emissions. We are still at an early stage and we will share more information about these activities in our next Responsible Investment Report.