JLL commits to making net zero carbon mainstream and to operating at net zero carbon by 2030 in the UK

September 12, 2019

LONDON, 12 September 2019 – JLL has become the first property consultancy in the UK to take a major step towards change in the built environment industry by committing to the World Green Building Council’s (WGBC) net zero carbon buildings commitment. As part of the commitment, JLL will achieve zero carbon for its own UK workplaces by 2030 and promises to use its full influence to spearhead the wider adoption of net zero carbon buildings, driving the pace of change across the real estate industry.

With a reach of over 4000 clients across UK, over 4500 buildings under management[1], and around £12 billion of property transactions completed in the UK last year, JLL has a significant opportunity to accelerate change, to support its clients and to influence the supply chain. This, coupled with over 20 years’ of experience providing market-leading sustainability advice to a wide range of clients committing to net positive or net zero carbon, such as Hammerson and Great Portland Estates, puts JLL in a unique position to make net zero carbon buildings mainstream.

JLL is one of the 128 businesses who strongly advocated to the UK Government to adopt a net zero economy goal, which was passed into law on 27 June 2019. Given that the operation of buildings is responsible for around 30 per cent of total UK emissions, the built environment will be a major strategic focus for achieving net zero carbon across the economy.

Sophie Walker, head of Sustainability in the UK at JLL, says: “When it comes to making property more sustainable, in the commercial market there are just two refurbishment cycles left before the Government’s net zero deadline in 2050. Forward-thinking landlords and tenants will make the move to operate at net zero carbon now, not play catch-up in years to come.  We want to help educate all our clients to adopt that mindset. Our ambition is that JLL UK’s pioneering net zero carbon commitment will help to drive a transition in the industry in order to turn what is currently an ambition into a reality.”

To deliver on its promise, JLL in the UK will:

  • Lead by example: By 2030, only occupy workplaces which are net zero carbon in operation.
    Measure upfront embodied carbon in JLL’s own workplace fitouts, with a view to halving the impact by 2030.
  • Educate and influence: From now, train employees on net zero carbon buildings, also offering this training to 
    clients and suppliers. Raise awareness of net zero carbon by sharing thought leadership and scaling up action
    through industry and policy engagement.
  • Make it mainstream: Integrate net zero carbon into all services for all buildings JLL advises on.
    Create transparency by tracking net zero carbon assets in core UK markets. Aim to work with at
    least 10 major clients to help them develop a net zero carbon strategy or roadmap for their
    portfolios in the next 2 years. Innovate to reduce embodied carbon in development, refurbishment
    and fitout, and to drive additional renewable capacity in the grid. All by 2021.

Chris Ireland, JLL’s UK CEO, explains: “ At JLL UK, we are aiming to be a catalyst for change for our clients, positioning ourselves as an established source of advice towards reaching a net zero carbon economy. With the Government’s 2050 target 20 years after our own, we can lead by example and demonstrate the impact and importance of this commitment, encouraging others to do the same.”

JLL has also partnered with UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) on its Advancing Net Zero programme, aimed at driving the transition to a net zero carbon-built environment, and has supported with the creation of their UK framework. At a global level, JLL is a Corporate Advisory Board member of the WorldGBC, seeking to advance net zero carbon buildings worldwide, and will be setting a science-based carbon target aligned to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

[1] Representing 45 million square foot of space


About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of nearly 92,000 as of June 30, 2019. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com

About WorldGBC

The WorldGBC is a global network of Green Building Councils operating in 70 countries, with an aim to transform the places people live, work, play, heal and learn. WorldGBC’s mission is to create green buildings for everyone, everywhere – adapting to the changing climate. The WorldGBC has set a number of goals to achieve by 2050, including:

  • Limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius
  • Reduce the building and construction sector’s CO2 emissions by 84 gigatonnes
  • Ensure all buildings are net zero emissions

These goals are set to ensure WorldGBC plays their part in delivering on the ambition of the 2016 Paris Agreement. 

About net zero carbon buildings

The WorldGBC define a net zero carbon building as one that is highly energy efficient, and supplies energy needs from on-site and/or off-site renewable sources. Aligning with this, the UKGBC published a framework definition for net zero carbon buildings and a target for achieving net zero carbon operationally for all new buildings by 2030 and all existing buildings by 2050. The UKGBC framework also sets out a pathway to achieve net zero carbon buildings in construction, as well as operation, recognising that the indirect embodied carbon emissions associated with the manufacture of construction materials can be responsible for as much as 50 per cent of a building’s emissions across its entire lifetime.

So far, 23 businesses, 23 cities and six states around the world have become signatories to the WorldGBC net zero carbon buildings commitment.