Carbon reduction is key in reaching net zero targets
21 Nov 2022
Ben Brakes was recently interviewed by property trade magazine Property Week.
As one of the largest owners and operators in the European logistics sector, Logicor has a key role to play in tackling climate change and it is a responsibility that we embrace.
By working closely with our customers, with solutions and action, together we can make a real difference in reaching the global target to be net zero carbon by 2050.
In our dedicated environmental, social and governance (ESG) report entitled ‘Acting responsibly for a sustainable future’, we set our company strategy, which is about far more than words on paper. This year, we are continuing to bring this into focus, both for ourselves and our customers, to include key targets set around dedicated work streams, aimed squarely at areas where we can have a direct impact and wield influence.
We have two main themes, the first of which is reducing carbon. That means reducing our own carbon footprint but also helping our customers to do the same. By working together to share data on how much energy our customers use in operation, we can identity where efficiencies can be made to our warehouses and benchmark our buildings across the board.
We can also help our customers to gain a better understanding of their energy and carbon use across their operations and identify where we can invest to improve the operations of each building and enable our customers to remain in their chosen business space for years to come.
Our other main theme is climate resiliency, which is all about making sure our assets are future-proof, fit for purpose and resilient to change over the decades. We have committed to becoming a climate-resilient business by 2030 and in order to do that, we have adopted the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures’ (TCFD’s) recommendations.
In terms of carbon reduction, we have also set a target to reduce our carbon footprint by 36% by 2030 using the Science-Based Targets initiative’s methodology. Over the next eight years, as we work towards our commitments for 2030, one of our main focuses is on high-quality refurbishments of our portfolio, covering our existing properties and new acquisitions.
A key aspect of what Logicor is known for as a business is transforming older assets that are in brilliant locations into prime, sustainable and modern warehouse space. Our climate strategy therefore dovetails neatly with our existing business model.
This strategy also means our embedded carbon remains low, which is very important to us as a business. Knocking buildings down and starting from scratch can be wasteful in terms of the carbon that has already gone into existing materials and constructing buildings. It also involves being responsible for all the carbon emissions in the new materials and fresh construction process.
Manufacturing steel and concrete are two of the most carbon-intensive activities on the planet, so wasting materials and creating demand for new ones can be highly unsustainable. Our first preference is always to refurbish, reuse and recycle materials as much as we can to best serve our customers.
We have a strong and active refurbishment programme of our existing portfolio. As part of this programme, we are retrofitting LED lights so that the lighting is highly energy efficient. We are moving away from gas-powered heating and moving to electrified heating systems wherever possible across our whole European portfolio.
We are also increasing the volume of photovoltaic (PV) panels we have on the roofs of our buildings, making the most of the large roof plates, and are now up to around 40MW at peak times. We intend to significantly increase the capacity of our onsite generation within the next five years
We always want to find the most sustainable solution to improve our properties and reduce carbon. The next stage of our ESG plan is designing a dedicated strategy and target for embodied carbon, particularly for the new-build projects we undertake.
We are working closely with our supply chains to ensure we are using the best-in-class materials with lower embedded carbon in steel and concrete, for example working with steel suppliers that are increasing the volume of recycled steel that they produce.
As with our existing portfolio, our acquisition programme will continue to expand our provision of industrial and logistics space in prime and strategic locations where our customers want to be.
Whether we are building new or continuing our improvement programme, we will continue to invest to cater for the needs of our customers and our commitment to our net zero goals.
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