Grosvenor to use carbon offsetting earlier than planned, in bid to become carbon-neutral by 2025

Grosvenor’s historic London estate in Mayfair and Belgravia is its main source of direct emissions

The firm announced last December that it is striving to become a net-zero business by 2030, with the target applying to emissions across all scopes. At the time, it promised more information on the use of carbon offsetting by the end of 2021.

That information came today (12 October), with Grosvenor revealing that, while it had planned to begin offsetting in 2025 and reach carbon neutrality in 2030, the offsetting strategy will now be activated sooner.

In a statement, the business said that “absolute emissions reduction remains the priority”. Grosvenor’s net-zero commitment is bolstered by a pledge to reduce operational emissions by 52% by 2030, against a 2019 baseline. By 2025, a representative told edie, a 29% reduction against the same baseline is expected. A 20% reduction has already been achieved.

Complementing efforts to reduce emissions, Grosvenor has stated, will be investment in “long-term and high-quality offsets” that support both man-made technologies and nature-based solutions. A representative told edie that nature-based solutions including forest creation, peatland restoration and ecological enhancement schemes will be prioritised in the short-term and medium-term. With a longer-term view, Grosvenor has “already started discussions with a number of carbon capture and storage (CCS) companies”, the representative said.

For projects to meet Grosvenor’s criteria, they must deliver “verifiable, robust and additional” emissions reductions or carbon removal. They must also deliver co-benefits for local people and/or the environment.

Grosvenor will begin its offsetting journey by purchasing carbon credits to cover all corporate emissions this year. By 2025, this will be extended to cover all emissions generated by the business’s value chain.

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland’s chief executive James Raynor said: “We recognise the complexities of offsetting, but when governed robustly and alongside commitments to reductions in emissions, it is an important tool to achieving net-zero; so, why wait?

“We need to get on with action and take responsibility for the emissions we’re generating right now.”

“We’re entering the offsetting market with our eyes wide open and will share our learnings with others and help the industry become greener at a quicker pace,” added Grosvenor Britain & Ireland’s executive director of sustainability and innovation, Tor Burrows.

The announcement comes shortly after Mark Carney’s Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets announced the formation of an independent governance body for carbon markets and credits that will aim to set a global benchmark in proving the social value and carbon reduction potential of carbon credits and offsetting.

In 2020, the Taskforce estimated that the current market for offsets will need to grow by at least 15-fold by 2030 if the private sector is to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C trajectory. By 2050, it may need to be up to 160 times bigger than in 2020.

Sarah George

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