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News Release


Leading commercial property owners currently on track to meet tough government carbon reduction targets

But stark warning issued to the rest of the sector

London, 17th October, 2014 - According to the latest research from JLL, leading UK commercial property owners who are benchmarking their performance are progressing well towards meeting the government's 80 per cent carbon emissions reduction target by 2050. However for those in the sector who have not been monitoring or making reductions, it is estimated that an annual reduction target of at least 3.5 per cent is needed in order to align with the government's goal.

Analysing the performance details of over 700 retail and office properties across the UK in the Real Estate Environmental Benchmark (REEB) data set, co-created by JLL and the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP), JLL has identified that from 2008 to 2013 benchmark participants reduced their carbon emissions by 27 per cent; equivalent to 6.03 per cent per annum. This figure surpasses the 3.29 per cent that benchmark participants needed to achieve each and every year from 2008 to be on track with the 80 per cent target. The research report identifies that for benchmark participants to remain on track, they must deliver further reductions of 2.91 per cent every year between 2013 and 2050.

While participants are currently on course to meet the 2050 objective, JLL's research questions whether the rest of the UK commercial property sector is fairing as well. It has been estimated* that between 1990 and 2010 the commercial sector reduced its operational carbon emissions by approximately 21 per cent. This equates to an annualised reduction of only 1.14 per cent, progress which is well short of reaching the government's objective. For the commercial sector as whole to reach the 2050 goal, JLL estimates that it will need to achieve annual reductions of 3.5 per cent.

To help the UK commercial property sector play its part in meeting the 80 per cent reduction, JLL has proposed two key recommendations. Firstly commercial property owners must improve the way they measure and monitor their performance and place greater emphasis on benchmarking their buildings to target best practice levels. This will help the sector set informed and achievable emissions reduction targets. Secondly, in collaboration with the sector, the government needs to set a clear policy framework for both energy consumption reduction and decarbonisation of the electricity grid to support the sector on the path to 2050.

Matthew Tippett, Director in Upstream Sustainability Services, JLL, said: "The government has set a very ambitious target of achieving an 80 per cent reduction in emissions but not many companies know how to track their progress, let alone have a plan on how to do it. Therefore, we have used the REEB data set to assess what industry leaders should have been achieving and what they still need to do to reach the 2050 target.

"Through a range of largely low and no cost activities REEB benchmark participants have made significant energy efficiency improvements – putting them on track to the path to 2050. However, for other commercial property owners and operators who have not achieved such reductions over the past few years, we estimate that an annual reduction target of at least 3.5 per cent is needed in order to align with the 2050 goal, assuming they start now.

Matthew Tippett, concludes: "The commercial property sector needs to measure and monitor its energy consumption, benchmark performance against best practice and set meaningful targets in line with the government's aim. The REEB initiative not only helps us understand how and where we can make savings most effectively but what progress is being made. The government in turn must support the sector by establishing a clear direction for long term energy policy, developing appropriate financial incentives and setting firm commitments on decarbonisation. It is clear that meeting the UK's carbon reduction target by 2050 will be challenging but we believe that through further collaboration we will be in a far better position to achieve it."

Click here to read the full research report.