JLL aiming for science-based target by 2020

Real estate giant JLL has announced that it surpassed all three of its current carbon emissions reduction targets last year, putting it on track to set a science-based target within the next two years.

JLL’s latest global sustainability report reveals that the firm reduced building-related emissions by 15%, energy consumption emissions by 12% and rented area emissions by 10%, all against a 2012 baseline.

The reductions in each area surpassed the 2017 targets of 15%, 10% and 8% respectively. As such, JLL has concluded it is feasible to set higher targets in line with the Paris Agreement goals within the next two years.

Until it develops a science-based target, JLL has pledged to cut building-related emissions by 2% per corporate employee each year and to reduce energy consumption at the same rate.

It has additionally committed to work with clients to encourage them to set similarly ambitious targets, in light of UN research which concluded that real estate accounts for 40% of global energy consumption and a third of the planet’s carbon emissions.

JLL’s chief executive Christian Ulbrich said the new targets demonstrate the “tangible action” the company is taking to cut its carbon footprint.

“As one of the world’s largest commercial real estate firms, we have a tremendous opportunity to address climate change head-on by creating sustainable workspaces, buildings and communities where everyone can thrive,” Ulbrich said.

The report, published on Wednesday (June 27), notes that if the renewable energy projects in the planning and feasibility stages that JLL advised on last year achieve planning consent, the company could avoid more than 750,000 additional metric tons of CO2e.

Additionally, the report notes positive progress towards green buildings targets, with JLL receiving green building certifications such as LEED and BREEAM for 38% of its offices and 225 of its client developments.

‘Building a Better Tomorrow’

JLL’s existing targets, coupled with its commitment to set an approved science-based target by 2020, form part of its new global Building a Better Tomorrow sustainability strategy, which was launched this week as the firm’s previous climate targets expired.

The strategy aims to cut JLL’s environmental footprint as it expands its operations. The UK programme has already seen JLL recycle 70% of its waste streams from its Norwich and London headquarters, train 67% of staff on sustainability and reduce its absolute energy use across the UK by a quarter, against a 2012 baseline.

Sarah George

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