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Derwent London today sets out its Net Zero Carbon Pathway following its commitment in February this year to become a net zero carbon business (“Net Zero”) by 2030.

It is the first UK REIT to provide a detailed Pathway explaining how it will become Net Zero by 2030, in line with achieving a 1.5°C future. It follows the Group introducing independently verified Science Based Targets across its portfolio in 2017 and the first revolving credit facility with a green tranche in the sector in 2019.

The Pathway clearly details:

  • Further reductions to the portfolio’s energy and carbon emissions such as using all-electric heating and cooling for new developments and retrofitting older properties
  • Collaborative work with occupiers, supply chain and the wider real estate sector
  • Using renewable electricity and green gas to power the Group’s portfolio including opportunities to self-generate renewable energy from our land holdings in Scotland
  • Investigating and utilising innovative, low carbon technologies
  • Annual disclosure of Derwent London’s progress towards Net Zero measured using independently assured metrics

Climate change is a major global challenge and will impact how business operates in the future. Given that the built environment contributes significantly to the UK’s overall carbon footprint, we must find the solutions to further reduce emissions and develop renewable energy sources.

Paul Williams, Chief Executive of Derwent London, said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has not diminished our ambition to be a net zero carbon business by 2030. It is fundamental to develop a resilient business and to lessen our impact on climate change. We have an opportunity and responsibility to make a difference and look forward to working with our occupiers, suppliers, our communities and sector peers to achieve common goals.”

John Davies, Head of Sustainability for Derwent London commented:
“Our Pathway clearly sets out how we intend to meet the commitment to become net zero by 2030. We have set challenging targets which will be independently assured. Following the work we have done in recent years, together with an accelerated ambition to find solutions, we will draw on innovation and collaboration to bring about effective change.”

Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues commented:
“Through the Mayor’s London Business Climate Leaders programme, Derwent London have joined with other key London businesses in taking action to contribute to the Mayor’s goal of making London a zero carbon city. We are delighted to see Derwent London continuing to be at the forefront of these efforts with the ambitious target to become a net zero carbon business by 2030. As London recovers from COVID-19, we want to work with more businesses to take similar steps in driving the green recovery, including through creating green jobs and skills and continuing to tackle the climate emergency.”

Sarah Ratcliffe, Chief Executive of the Better Buildings Partnership said:
“The Better Buildings Partnership welcomes Derwent London’s publication of its Net Zero Carbon Pathway, a key requirement for signatories to the BBP Climate Commitment. Aligning the Pathway to a 1.5oC climate change scenario, with a clear focus on driving down energy demand & occupier emissions, means that Derwent’s 2030 target is ambitious. Their Pathway provides much needed transparency concerning the scope of the target & their approach to achieving these emissions reductions across the business.”

The Pathway is Derwent London’s next step towards becoming Net Zero, a focus over many years. However, more urgent action was required which led to February 2020’s announcement to bring forward the Group’s net zero carbon target by two decades from 2050 to 2030.

The scope of the commitment to a 1.5°C climate warming scenario includes emissions from activities where the business has direct control and those over which it has some level of influence, such as tenant energy consumption. Due to this, collaboration with occupiers, supply chain and the wider sector will be crucial. The recently completed 80 Charlotte Street W1 will be the Group’s first net zero building, soon to be followed by Soho Place W1 and The Featherstone Building EC1 which are both currently on site.

To power business activities, both renewable electricity and gas will be procured and invested in. The Scottish estate provides opportunities for self-generating renewable energy which Derwent London is excited to explore.

The Group’s focus is on reducing emissions and using renewable energy, but where there is carbon that cannot be totally eliminated, this will be offset using certified schemes.

Each year Derwent London will disclose its progress against the metrics identified in the Pathway to ensure it remains transparent. It will also incorporate this net zero work into its non-financial assurance process.

Regenerating buildings is at the heart of the business which provides the Group with a significant opportunity to lead the sector in taking action to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This is part of how Derwent London designs, delivers and operates its buildings responsibly – and how it will also become a more resilient business in the long term. The Group recognises that this is a challenging commitment but the current global climate crisis means it is absolutely necessary.