We have today unveiled our net zero carbon commitment that will see our business and buildings operating at net zero carbon by 2025, five years ahead of the broader industry standard and well ahead of the overall UK plan to achieve net zero by 2050.
This commitment, made on World Environment Day and endorsed by the World Green Building Council, will see all our owned assets and new developments achieve zero carbon in operation by 2025.
Our 2025 commitment puts us among a select few property businesses to have announced such an ambitious target, and forms part of our strategy to drive wider positive social and environmental outcomes through a systemic approach to the built environment and our investments.
We are pursuing a retrofit first strategy, focusing on reusing and repurposing buildings to extend their life spans, while retaining the embodied carbon in their structures. This is exactly what we are doing at TBC London, a 110,000 sq ft forward-thinking workspace next to Tower Bridge, which recently achieved planning permission. The building will be 100% electric and zero carbon in operation, making it one of the UK’s most sustainable offices.
Equally, central to our approach is a commitment to ensuring the transition to a low carbon economy is smart and just. We aim to ensure disadvantaged groups are not left behind, drive community resilience, skills training and clean growth, while supporting smart solutions around biodiversity and rewilding, offsetting, and smart finance.
These initiatives include:
- Employing, training and upskilling the local workforce in low carbon building design, construction and technology
- Only working with suppliers who sign up to our living wage commitment and procurement policies that include detailed obligations around training, apprenticeships, and other programs specifically targeted at skills people need to thrive in a low carbon economy
- Providing ‘urban village halls’ in our buildings as free space for local social enterprises and community groups
- Supporting ‘clean proptech’ start-ups where appropriate and seeking to transform outmoded supply chains
- Working on digital inclusion in communities and implementing programs around entrepreneurship and innovation
- Implementing a smart approach to offsetting that includes solutions that improve community cohesion, enhance wellbeing, and deliver education opportunities.
- Only working with banks and financial institutions that have a clear, demonstrable, measurable commitment to a low carbon future with a defined pathway that aligns with FORE’s own net zero pledge.
The World Green Building Council today announced that over 95 signatories are now part of the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, nearly doubling participation in this collective statement of climate action since last year.
The WorldGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment calls on businesses, organisations, cities, states and regions to reach net zero carbon operating emissions within their portfolios by 2030, and to advocate for all buildings to be net zero carbon in operation by 2050. The UK government has set its own target for the nation as a whole that will require the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
Basil Demeroutis, FORE’s Managing Partner, said: “We firmly believe that recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must be driven by a climate-led economic plan that accelerates the transition to net-zero. Low carbon, socially responsible design forms part of an important narrative that brings people to our cities, our communities, and our buildings. We must give our tenants and their stakeholders positive reasons why they should come work and play in our buildings, and transition away from being preoccupied with offices simply as places where work gets done.
“Especially today on World Environment Day, we are proud to commit to achieving net zero in the next five years. As an ethical real estate investor and developer, that means we will ensure that all our owned assets and new developments will be net zero carbon in operation by 2025. This is a bold commitment that we’re determined to achieve through a series of industry-leading measures, including a retrofit first strategy that takes into consideration embodied carbon, while seeking to drive positive social outcomes through all our projects.
“We believe the industry needs consider its work in the context of urban systems, and thus our strategy focuses on taking a more systemic approach to driving environmental and social outcomes. This is essential if we are to ensure the transition to a low carbon economy is just and smart.”