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#BuildingforEveryone: it’s time to put people back at the heart of the built environment – JLL

Richard Batten, Chief Sustainability Officer, JLL, is #BuildingForEveryone by: “Championing climate action for sustainable real estate, creating healthy spaces and inclusive places for our colleagues, clients and communities.”

World Green Buildings Week 2022 is a critical call to action, sending a powerful message that buildings have a critical role to play in tackling climate change and promoting health and wellbeing.

As the built environment accounts for approximately 40% of CO2 emissions globally, JLL can have a significant impact by taking climate action with our clients, colleagues and communities.

We made our first global commitment to address our carbon footprint in 2011. In 2018, JLL set a science-based target to cut Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 68% by 2034. This target was aligned to the emissions pathway needed to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C. We also set a Scope 3 target to reduce emissions from the space managed on behalf of clients by 53% per square foot over the same period. It was formally approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2020.

In the same year, JLL signed the World Green Building Council Net-Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, pledging to only occupy offices which are net-zero carbon in operation by 2030 − and we are on track, as reported in our 2021 Global Sustainability Report.

In 2021, we embarked on even more ambitious climate action by setting a target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040 that encompasses its entire Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventory. This commits JLL to reduce absolute Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 51% by 2030, and 95% by 2040, from a 2018 base year. Accepting that there will be some residual emissions in 2040, JLL has committed to offset no more than 5% of its 2018 baseline. In October 2021, to ensure full accountability this target was certified by the SBTi to its new Net-Zero Standard, making JLL the first real estate company in the world with a validated net-zero target aligned to climate science.

Fast forward to World Green Building Week 2022 − we are making significant progress in walking the talk when it comes to the sustainable real estate that we occupy; at time of writing 45% of JLL offices over 10,000 sq. ft have a sustainable building certificate, and we are on track for 100% by 2030.

The investments we are making speak to putting people at the heart of the built environment. Take our new Casablanca (Morocco) office: located at the Anfaplace business center, the office boasts some of the best sea views in Casablanca, maximising the use of natural light and boosting the mood of staff and visitors. Extensive windows and biophilic design elements connect employees with the natural environment, while outdoor seated areas and co-working spaces provide an opportunity for colleagues to relax or work. We ensured the space was fitted out with comfortable furniture, most of which was upcycled and repurposed from our previous office to reduce waste. We used local suppliers to transform these pieces, thus creating a circular economy that gave back to small, local businesses.

By consolidating two separate offices into one, we reduced our occupied floor area by 60%, allowing for a lower carbon footprint and reduced costs. Automated presence sensors and LEDs manage the lighting and climate control for each room, while a state-of-the-art HVAC system recycles and purifies the air. An innovative air treatment system, meanwhile, recovers 80% of the energy used for heating and cooling and controls the level of CO2 and humidity in the air.

What we do for JLL is a bellwether for our clients; corporate real estate leaders are thinking strategically about the long-term transformation of their real estate portfolios to succeed in a post-pandemic world. Net-zero carbon, health and wellbeing are top priorities.

Insights from our latest survey of over 1,000 CRE decision-makers across the globe suggest that the period from 2022 to 2025 will represent a crucial window of opportunity for organizations to redefine their workplace strategies and to create flexible, tech-enabled, future-proof real estate portfolios. In the near term, investing in quality space will be a greater priority than expanding total footprint. Environmental and social aspirations will also shape future portfolio transformation.

Indeed, as organizations plan their transition to a post-pandemic future, we believe there is a unique opportunity for employers to create a new ‘Regenerative Workplace’ with a workplace strategy that puts people at the center. By taking care of their employees’ health and wellbeing, forward-thinking companies will allow employees to define their own workstyles and manage their own energy levels to achieve sustainable performance, #BuildingforEveryone.