Pulling Together on Climate Change

By Sarah Cary
Head of Sustainable Places at British Land

07 Dec 2016

On 17 November, the UK Government formally ratified COP 21 – the Paris climate agreement.

We’re pleased about this ratification, as it gives greater steer about the scale and pace of change in energy generation and supply that we can expect to see in the UK. In turn, this helps us focus on the right approach.

I’m challenging my colleagues to think about how we can move faster to ‘decarbonise’ our activities and prepare our buildings and suppliers. It’s this ever-changing landscape that makes this sector, and my role, so interesting.

On this theme, I recently attended the Accounting for Sustainability summit, where the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, talked about climate change being the biggest risk to the UK economy. He suggested banks and large companies are unprepared for the regulatory changes that will flow out of COP 21 (the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference) and may be caught out by the consequences of low carbon transition. This is a good example of something that we as a company focus on now, to ensure we can deliver the best solution for sustainable places of the future.

We know that when we use less carbon it makes business sense – cost savings for our occupiers, income for us, and often innovation too. For example, we’ve gone 100% renewable electricity, we’re continuing our award-winning energy efficiency programme and we’ve just agreed to install more solar power on retail rooftops around the country.

British Land has achieved 39% carbon reductions across our like-for-like portfolio since 2009, but there’s still more we can do – we’re targeting a 55% landlord energy intensity total portfolio reduction by 2020.

It’s great to see Government, our customers, peers and suppliers all pulling together on climate change. 

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