Media & Insights

Land Securities commits to ambitious science-based carbon reduction target

17 June 2016

Land Securities is at the forefront of sustainability innovation in the UK property sector and today becomes the first commercial real estate company in the world to announce it has set a science-based target for carbon reduction.

This comes just two months after becoming the first property company in the UK to switch to 100% renewable electricity.

Global leaders from 195 countries committed to limit global warming to a maximum increase of two degrees at COP21 in Paris last year. To help achieve this goal Land Securities has worked with the Carbon Trust to calculate a carbon reduction target which is consistent with what the best available science says will be necessary.

The new target was calculated using the Sectoral Decarbonisation Approach methodology developed by the Science Based Target Initiative. This allows companies across a wide range of economic sectors to calculate carbon reduction targets which fit within the 2 degree warming scenario based on the most robust and credible data-sets.

Land Securities and the Carbon Trust calculated the required decarbonisation for both the entire commercial real estate sector and the Land Securities portfolio. Using this ground-breaking analysis the company set an ambitious target of achieving 40% reduction in the carbon intensity in property under management for at least two years by 2030 when compared with a 2013/14 baseline. This is measured in kilograms of carbon emissions per square metre.

In order to drive these carbon emission reductions Land Securities will also reduce energy intensity by 40% by 2030 in the same buildings. This will set Land Securities on the trajectory needed to achieve the 80% reduction in carbon emissions in property required by 2050.

Land Securities recognises that to be truly sustainable, landlords also need to look beyond their directly controlled areas to how their customers use energy. The new target therefore includes all energy procured by Land Securities on behalf of their customers.

The target has been submitted to the Science Based Target Initiative for review, and Land Securities will make the methodology public to share best practice with other companies in the sector.

Robert Noel, Chief Executive of Land Securities, said:

“The introduction of such an ambitious science-based target for carbon reduction not only demonstrates Land Securities’ leadership and commitment to sustainability but also signals our intent to work collaboratively to address this global challenge. I hope that by sharing our methodology we can encourage others to follow suit.”

Hugh Jones, Managing Director, Carbon Trust Business Services, said:

“Land Securities is showing real leadership on climate change. This goes beyond aiming for what is merely possible or economically attractive today, looking at what will actually be required if we are to keep global warming to no more than two degrees, or potentially less. If everyone does just a little bit, we won’t meet global targets on carbon emissions. Companies that announce big ambitious goals can set an positive example to governments, regulators and other businesses, showing that it really is possible to be low carbon and profitable at the same time. This helps raise the bar and drives the stronger, faster action that we will need across all sectors of the economy. ”

Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive, UK Green Building Council, said:

“Land Securities’ target represents true leadership – not just within the property sector but also within the business community at large, which is much needed in the absence of an ambitious UK policy framework. It’s hugely encouraging that Land Securities, one of UK Green Building Council’s (UK-GBC) Gold Leaf Members, should recognise the link between stretching carbon reduction targets and energy efficiency, productivity and innovation.”