Stockland CEO Mark Steinert

Stockland has shifted its net zero goalposts closer, committing to net zero carbon emissions across all its business activities by 2028.

The announcement will see the company’s targets brought forward by two years and cover 170 active assets and projects across Australia, including its residential developments. The target includes scope 1 and 2 emissions under the company’s operational control.

The announcement accompanied the diversified developer’s half yearly financial results, which show some early signs of recovery but still falling short of its pre-pandemic performance. In light of the headwinds experienced in the commercial office sector, the developer will ramp up production in its residential business and scale up its workplace and logistics portfolio.

The residential market has dragged its feet in the decarbonisation challenge compared to other building types such as commercial office. There’s now signs change is afoot, and Stockland, Australia’s largest residential developer, has stepped up to participate in a range of different low carbon home programs. 

The developer has signed up for an early access pilot projects to test the Green Building Council of Australia’s draft Green Star for Homes standard launched last year.

It’s also recently completed its first “zero net carbon” home in a Melbourne development that was done in collaboration with Sustainability Victoria in accordance with the Victorian government’s Zero Net Carbon Homes pilot program.

Working with the state government’s program helped the developer explore better techniques for generating buyer interest in sustainability, including an opt-out rather than an opt-in strategy where customers have to downgrade from sustainability features rather than upgrade into them.

It’s also secured a partnership with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation for a $75 million debt facility for decarbonising its retirement living and industrial portfolios, and its own corporate offices.

The company will pursue the federal government’s Climate Active certification, which involves reducing its emissions as much as possible through, in this case, electrifying assets, running them off renewables and a range of other innovations, and then offsetting any emissions that remain.

“We achieved our FY25 emission intensity reduction target four years early resulting in $123 million operational cost savings since FY06,” Stockland chief financial officer, Tiernan O’Rourke, said.

“However, we recognise that there is more to do.

“Our net zero carbon commitment doubles our recent industry leading $33 million, 18 megawatt installation of rooftop solar across our portfolio with an additional up to 19 megawatts across our retail town centre and logistics assets,” Mr O’Rourke said

Stockland’s accelerated and more comprehensive target is promising given the company ranked as only “partially aligned” in the Climateworks Net Zero Momentum Tracker for property, which was released in 2019. This ranking suggested that its net zero ambitions only included a portion of emissions from its direct operations.

The 2019 research from the climate change think tank had Dexus, Mirvac Group, GPT Group, Vicinity Centres, Cromwell Property Group and Investa (ICPF) leading the net zero race.