Grosvenor gets SBTi stamp of approval for net-zero plans

Grosvenor Property UK has become the first European property company to receive verification for its long-term emission goals under the Science-Based Targets Initiative’s (SBTi) corporate net-zero standard.

Grosvenor gets SBTi stamp of approval for net-zero plans

Pictured: An artist's impression of Grosvenor's Holbein Gardens office development

Launched by the SBTi in October 2021, the standard requires businesses to set targets to reduce emissions across all scopes by 2030 in a manner consistent with its 1.5C temperature pathway. Companies must also have credible plans to continue delivering significant emissions reductions thereafter, reaching net-zero by 2050 or sooner. By the net-zero point, they must be emitting at least 90% less than they were at the baseline point, meaning that they cannot over-rely on offsetting, insetting or capturing emissions.

After participating in the SBTi’s ‘road test’ of the standard in 2021, property developer and manager Grosvenor Property UK has today (4 August) announced verification.

Grosvenor Property UK’s net-zero deadline date is 2040 and the target covers Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. It will need to reduce absolute emissions across all scopes by 90% by 2040, against a 2019 baseline, to deliver its net-zero standard commitment.

A 24% reduction in absolute emissions across all scopes has already been delivered since 2019.

Grosvenor Property UK “To have had our science-based net-zero targets approved by the SBTi underlines to our residents, occupiers, supply chain and all our other partners that our net-zero targets will reduce emissions at the pace and scale required to keep global warming to 1.5C.

“Today’s announcement is testament to the work being undertaken across our business to transform how we make and manage places to create a climate-resilient future. We look forward to sharing our journey towards net zero and working with our partners to support them to do the same.”

So far, 1225 organisations have signalled their intent to develop targets aligned with the SBTi’s net-zero standard. Other firms with approved targets include Aecom, Capgemini, Dentsu, Jacobs, JLL, Orsted and Philip Morris International (PMI).

Net-zero priorities

Given that Grosvenor Property UK’s historic London estate in Mayfair and Belgravia is its main source of direct emissions, the company is targeting a 70% reduction in annual emissions here by 2030, against a 2019 baseline. It will invest in deep retrofits to make these buildings more energy-efficient, installing things like insulation, low-carbon heating and energy-efficient lighting.

A target has also been set to ensure that all new buildings are net-zero in operational carbon by 2030. Like many businesses in the UK’s built environment sector, Grosvenor Property UK is also increasingly focusing on embodied carbon as well. It is aiming for all construction projects to meet a maximum of 500kgCO2e/m2  by 2025.

Engaging suppliers will be critical to meeting these goals. Grosvenor first launched its supplier mentoring programme last year, supporting key suppliers to set and deliver their own SBTi-verified targets, and this work will continue this financial year. It is also a member of the Climate Group’s ConcreteZero initiative, which is aiming to scale the low-carbon and net-zero building materials supply chain by sending appropriate market demand signals and enabling business collaboration.

Regarding offsetting, Grosvenor Property UK had originally intended to activate its first carbon credits in 2025, but brought the timeline forward to late 2021, stating: “We need to get on with action and take responsibility for the emissions we’re generating right now.”

More recently, the firm launched its new biodiversity strategy, laying out plans for nature-based solutions. You can read edie’s full coverage of the biodiversity strategy here. 

Last year, Grosvenor Europe had its 2030 climate goals verified by the SBTi in line with 1.5%. It has committed to halving absolute emissions across all scopes against a 2019 baseline.

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