People Positive: Grosvenor Property UK launches social impact strategy on road to net-zero

Grosvenor Property UK has launched a new social impact strategy, detailing how the business will improve the wellbeing of people using places that it makes and manages and contributing to local communities while pushing towards its net-zero target.

People Positive: Grosvenor Property UK launches social impact strategy on road to net-zero

Image: Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

The People Positive strategy focuses on key performance pillars that will enable Grosvenor Property UK to contribute to society.

The new plan, unveiled today (5 October) concentrates on three priority areas: improving the wellbeing of the built environment places that it makes and manages, helping local communities by championing inclusive growth and diversity and maximising the benefits offered across its people and partners.

The new strategy was created based on extensive research and feedback and aims to help the business make informed decisions based on a greater understanding of local needs. As part of the strategy, the company will continue with an existing £1m Greener Futures programme, which recently expanded to Liverpool and support the Westminster Foundation, and combines wellbeing with the company’s sustainability efforts.

Grosvenor Property UK chief executive James Raynor said: “We want to have a genuinely long-term, positive impact on people and communities. But this isn’t something we take for granted as an automatic by product of what we do.

“So, we’ve expanded our sustainability ambitions to encompass a business-wide approach to social impact enabling us to understand, measure and maximise our impact. Social impact will now be as much a part of decision making as commercial and environmental considerations – ensuring people and planet are at the centre of our business.”

Net-zero vision

Earlier this year, Grosvenor Property UK became 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 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.

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.

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. 

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