Cromwell Energex House is
Cromwell's Energex House is one of Queensland’s most energy efficient commercial buildings. Photo: Christopher Frederick Jones

Leading the race to net zero emissions is Dexus, Mirvac Group, GPT Group, Vicinity Centres, Cromwell Property Group and Investa (ICPF) according to new research from climate change think tank ClimateWorks.

These six companies – which critically represent 36 per cent of total ASX200 property sector market capitalisation – have committed to an emissions reduction target that is aligned with achieving net zero emissions before 2050 for the assets they own and manage.

Another three companies have signalled interest in committing to net zero or are working on this goal.

This amounts to almost half the assessed companies making commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that closely align with the Paris Climate Agreement.

  • Download the report to find out how the rest of the property industry is tracking

But not all net zero targets are created equal. So far, Mirvac and Dexus are the only companies with a published strategy that maps out how they plan to reach this target. Some have such a plan in the works.

Even the leaders are falling short of a net zero commitment that encompasses all emissions an organisation is accountable for, such as those from co-owned assets, supply chains and investments.

Only two of the property companies listed in the ASX 200 that were assessed – Viva Energy REIT and Toga Pty Ltd – have not publicly reported any emissions reduction activities or targets.

Both companies were contacted by The Fifth Estate but did not respond before publication. TOGA told the AFR that it “does not publish its sustainability initiatives as it is a private company but has undertaken carbon emission reduction projects in accordance with its environmental policy and its board’s sustainability targets.”

ClimateWorks Australia chief executive officer Anna Skarbek said that although the industry is moving in the right direction there’s still a lot more to be done.

“There still remains significant opportunity in the property sector for companies to strengthen their commitments to align with net zero emissions before 2050,” she said.

“This requires targets which address the full scope of direct and indirect emissions within the company’s influence, supported by a detailed plan for their delivery.”

The Green Building Council of Australia chief executive officer Davina Rooney said the strong results cements the Australian property industry’s position as sustainability leaders.

“As was most recently demonstrated for the ninth year running through Australia’s leading position in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, Australian real estate continues to demonstrate the ambitious commitment and action that are essential to reduce our emissions,” Ms Rooney said.

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  1. Thank you for taking a more even approach to the Climate Works report. But I would recommend checking further on claims about who has or hasn’t done various things as the ClimateWorks report may or may not have got it right.

    For example, if anyone is interested in how GPT will be bringing its portfolios to zero carbon from 2020, it is published on on website under the Climate Change and Energy section. Who would have thought to look there?