Land Securities on target with CO2 reductions despite ‘broadly static position’

Land Securities has achieved a 16% reduction in like-for-like carbon emissions since 2011 - despite a 7% increase in emissions from its London portfolio - keeping the property firm on track to meet its overall target of a 15% overall reduction by 2020.

According to the company’s 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report, Land Securities’ five largest properties, which account for 38% of its overall CO2 emissions, saw almost no reduction in energy, with figures remaining stationary. “we strive for reductions and are not satisfied with this broadly static position,” the report states. 

It’s One New Change building in London experienced a significant increase in emissions; from 2000 tonnes in 2011 to almost 6000 tonnes in 2014, and it’s Thomas More Square property increased from 9000 tonnes to just under 12,000 tonnes. But neither property was fully occupied in the baseline year. 

The report goes on to admit difficulties in meeting water consumption targets – missing its aim of a 10% reduction and seeing water consumption increases of 15% in its London portfolio. 

Additionally, Land Securities failed to meet recycling targets in London properties, with recycling rates at 57% reused or recycled – again missing its original aim, of 70%. The firm did, however, divert 100% of waste from landfill with its London properties. 

Sustainability challenge

Throughout the report, Land Securities made clear its commitment to becoming ‘a truly sustainable business’, but also acknowledged the challenges facing companies trying to reduce like-for-like emissions in CO2, waste and water consumption.

The report highlights how the company has responded to the concerns of its stakeholders, who consider environmental impacts to be ‘the second most-important consideration for the company going forward’.

A number of new developments were cited in the report; showcasing new approaches to reducing carbon emissions, such as in Portsmouth where at Gunwharf Quays the installation of solar panels in 2012 saw 140 tonnes of CO2 saved in one year. Land Securities also pointed to its new Zig Zag building in London – an ultra-low carbon building which the firm says will be 50% more efficient than regulations require when it opens in May 2015.

Speaking of the future of the company’s sustainable developments, Land Securities’ CEO Robert Noel said: “We must keep working to find the right balance – between the long and short-term; between customers’ expectations and stakeholders’ needs; between the built environment and the natural world.”

Matt Field

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