Investa has committed to net zero emissions by 2040 across its $10 billion office portfolio and business operations, in a move designed to future-proof the company and attract long-term investment.
It is the first Australian property company to announce an emissions reduction target through the Science Based Target initiative, a framework that references the need to limit global warming to under 2°C, in line with the Paris Agreement.
Investa chief executive Jonathan Callaghan said the company needed to position itself as sustainability leader and “a viable, responsible investment option” in order to continue to attract investment.
“Sustainability leadership will help ensure we maintain access to shifting global capital flows, grow asset revenues, valuations and returns for current investors and support Investa’s overarching vision to be the clear market leader in Australian office,” he said.
Investa general manager, corporate sustainability Nina James said the strategy had been formed through “extensive collaboration” with industry experts and staff. It references the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council’s Low Carbon, High Performance report, which found the Australian property industry could get to net zero by 2050 using existing technologies, while saving $20 billion.
The strategy will include Scope 1 and 2 emissions, covering direct emissions and those made from purchasing energy, though will also cover Scope 3 emissions, which include waste disposal, transport and emissions related to the extraction and production of materials and fuels.
Investa is calling it a “whole-of-building-whole-of-life” approach, with the scope of emissions being gradually expanded in line with the Science Based Target review process.
As 99.6 per cent of Investa’s greenhouse gas emissions are due to electricity and gas used in operations, there will be three key areas targeted:
- How the building is operated – Continual improvement in the operational performance of Investa’s buildings
- How the building is designed and constructed – focusing on changing the building envelope to deliver further energy and emissions savings
- How the building is powered – Sourcing zero-carbon options for residual power requirements
Embodied carbon and occupant wellbeing have also been flagged as important areas.
“Having achieved a 56 per cent reduction in emissions intensity since 2004, this Science Based Target will ensure we maintain our leadership position and set the pace for a low-carbon future in office management,” Ms James said.
“By pursuing these emission reduction actions, we believe we can change the conversation to include whole of building thinking, resulting in a change in the criteria by which leading performance is measured and showing the real benefits of Investa’s approach to upgrading and re-positioning existing buildings,” Ms James said.