Barratt Developments sets net-zero target for 2040
The UK's largest housebuilder, Barratt Developments, has built on recently announced science-based targets by committing to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
Barratt will attempt to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, in a commitment that covers its direct operations.
Additionally, Barratt has committed to ensuring all new home designs are delivered at a net-zero carbon cost from 2030 onwards. The developer will also ensure that 100% of its electricity comes from renewable sources by 2025. Currently, just under 50% of the company’s electricity is sourced from renewables and reaching 100% will help reduce emissions by an additional 3,300 tonnes.
Barratt Developments’ chief executive David Thomas said: “We are committed to adapting our business to support the low carbon economy which the UK is building. These new targets further demonstrate our commitment to take responsibility for our share of carbon emissions and to play our part in combatting climate change.”
The company has reduced emissions by 22% since 2015 by improving plant efficiency and introducing energy efficient lighting in its homes. Barratt notes that it will have to utilise solar-assisted generators and reduce plant emissions to reach the net-zero target.
In February, the developer committed to reducing direct and indirect carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement's more ambitious 1.5C trajectory.
The British firm, which built almost 18,000 homes last year, has pledged to reduce direct (Scope 1 and Scope 2) emissions by 29% by 2025 and cut indirect (Scope 3) emissions by 11% by 2030.
Both targets are set against a 2018 baseline.
Barratt Developments claims it is the first major UK housebuilder to set approved 1.5C targets and said in a statement that it “believes every business needs to take responsibility to tackle climate change”. According to the IPCC, tackling climate change requires global emissions to be cut by 45% by 2030 and come down to zero by 2050.
The built environment sector as a whole is regarded as one of the UK’s hardest-to-abate sectors, accounting for around 40% of national annual energy consumption and 33% of national annual emissions.
In response, a cohort of 100+ businesses, investors and trade bodies are calling for the UK's Covid-19 recovery package to contain legally binding measures for addressing wasted energy and carbon emissions from housing.
In related news, leading companies within the construction industry have jointly declared a climate emergency in order to set up a new taskforce to coordinate climate action across the built environment.
The declaration has been made following discussions coordinated by Multiplex’s Sustainability Director, Dr Eva Gkenakou, with other leading contractors and has eight founding signatories; BAM Construct UK, BAM Nuttall, Canary Wharf Contractors, Morgan Sindall Group plc, Multiplex, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Willmott Dixon.
Through the UK Contractors Declare initiative, the founding organisation will make a “statement of intent” ahead of launching specific action plains aligned to the net-zero movement by 2050 at the latest.