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#NZCBCommitment News Roundup: March

14 March 2023

Net Zero Carbon Building Commitment signatories are taking accelerated action to decarbonise their portfolios and the built environment, today. Read more on their latest Advancing Net Zero developments below.


Creating Sustainable Futures with Arup

Read Arup’s Commitment profile here. 

Arup’s 2022 annual report outlines the company’s global performance and showcases projects that tackle the challenges of creating sustainable futures.  

Arup’s own carbon footprint has decreased with emissions 14% lower than the 2019 baseline figure. Arup acknowledges that there is still progress to be made, but the company is on track to meet its net zero target by 2030.

Arup offers innovative solutions to create sustainable environments and outcomes. Here are three projects highlighted in the Annual Report:

  • Arup partnered with Futur2K to test technical solutions that have the potential to transform the building sector. Futur2K’s ADPT-Buildings are highly adaptable due the fully reversible connections between parts which result in a huge reduction in carbon and waste. The first prototype was unveiled in May 2022 in Germany. 
  • In collaboration with AMP and 3XN, Arup focused on regenerating the 1970s skyscraper, Quay Quarter Tower. Determined to upcycle rather than demolish, Arup saved the equivalent carbon of 70,000 flights from Sydney to Melbourne. It was important for Arup to avoid the waste and the new embodied carbon involved with rebuilding. 
  • Arup supported MTR Carbon Consultancy on its journey to carbon neutrality by developing a long-term carbon reduction roadmap for the company. The roadmap set out key actions and milestones to 2050. 


GPT Group achieve successful sustainability outcomes for 2022 and announce first retail asset to be certified as carbon neutral

Read GPT Group’s Commitment profile here

GPT Group has released its Annual Report and detailed how the company is creating value in relation to its 2022 outcomes and performance. The report outlines that GPT Group has achieved an 86% emissions intensity reduction and a 53% energy intensity reduction since 2005. The company has also ranked first among more than 800 listed real estate companies in the 2022 S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) Corporate Sustainability Assessment. In August 2022, GPT delivered the first embodied carbon neutral certified development that was verified by Green Building Council of Australia and Climate Active.

The GPT Materials and Embodied Carbon Working Group made notable progress towards implementing its strategy to achieve upfront embodied carbon neutrality, through improved measurement processes, changes in materials and a shift to using renewable energy in construction and delivery processes. 

In February 2023, GPT announced that the company’s first retail asset in Victoria, Chirnside Park, met the requirements of the Climate Active certification for carbon neutrality. This was achieved through a 50% improvement in energy efficiency and a switch to renewable electricity.  Where no further reductions could be achieved, GPT offset the remaining emissions in partnership with environmental organisation Greenfleet. Greenfleet’s mission is to sequester carbon primarily by planting biodiverse native forests in Australia and New Zealand. 

These outcomes and projects are working towards GPT’s focus of delivering resilient assets that optimise environmental outcomes, and more broadly, the company’s ambitious targets for all assets developed for its investment portfolio to be upfront embodied carbon neutral from 2023 onwards, and to achieve Climate Active Carbon Neutral certification for all assets that it operationally controls as well as has ownership interest, by 2024.   


Salesforce champion a just and inclusive energy transition by increasing clean power access for emerging markets 

Read Salesforce’s Commitment profile here

The purchase of 280,000 MWh of renewable energy over the next eight years to help scale new, high-impact projects in emerging markets (Brasil, India, sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia) is an example of Salesforce championing the ‘Advocacy’ stage outlined in the Commitment, defined as advocating for wider emissions reduction by acting as a catalyst through core organisation activities for further action within respective supply chains.

The focus will be on small, decentralised renewable energy projects for regions that struggle with limited energy access. 

Salesforce’s purchase will help unlock an estimated $65 million of investments in new solar capacity and is expected to avoid over 50,000 tonnes of CO² emissions annually. This supports the company’s commitment made in 2021 to match 100% of electricity it uses with renewables. 

This is an example of advocating for wider emissions reductions, as well as a just and inclusive energy transition delivering clean energy access in regions highly dependent on fossil fuels. 

The Senior Manager of Sustainability at Salesforce, Megan Lorenzen, said: “Nearly 95% of corporate renewable energy purchases today take place in North America and Europe. We need to ensure the rest of the world isn’t left behind.”

One example of this purchase is the installation of a solar powered microgrid in Brazil that will reduce fuel consumption by more than 50% and help 1000 people living in a remote community. 

Another example is a hospital in sub-Saharan Africa that will improve electricity reliability due to a solar and storage installation, which also helps control the rising electricity costs. Additionally, 30-40% of the direct jobs created by these projects will be assigned to women. 


Ylva’s commercial space, the Lyyra building, has achieved carbon neutrality

Read Ylva’s Commitment profile here. 

Ylva has ambitious sustainability goals and the company is delivering. The Lryya office building is carbon neutral operationally and emissions were also reduced during construction. In addition, the facilities aim for the A energy class regulated by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, as well as a LEED platinum certification

Ylva’s target of carbon neutrality in real estate operations in all of their assets by 2025 was realised at the beginning of 2022, ahead of schedule. All of Ylva’s electrical energy used was obtained through wind power.

Ylva’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Antti Ruuska says: “We are aware of the central role of the real estate and construction industry in the climate crisis. That’s why we made the decision to jump to carbon neutrality three years earlier than planned in the operation of our properties. We hope our example will also inspire other owners to change faster.”

Ylva is demonstrating what can be achieved today. 


Max Fordham designs the first office building to receive highest Nabers UK pre-certification 

Read Max Fordham’s Commitment profile here

In collaboration with Eric Parry Architects, Max Fordham designed the Belgrave Road office development in London. It’s the first office building to receive a Nabers UK 5.5 target rating and one of three to be pre-certified in the United Kingdom (UK). This project is related to the ‘Advocacy’ section of the Commitment as Max Fordham have supported a wider emissions reduction for a building they have worked on but is not under their own portfolio. 

The building’s carefully considered design has already received pre-certification of WELL Platinum for Health and Wellbeing, and also targets Breeam Outstanding.This development will set a benchmark as one of London’s most sustainable office buildings with aspirations to be net zero carbon in both construction and operation, surpassing the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge for embodied carbon by 38%.


Lendlease demonstrate viability of renewable diesel as a decarbonisation option for construction

Read Lendlease’s Commitment profile here

Queensland’s first ever crane to be powered by 100% renewable diesel will be used to install large structural steel beams and precast concrete panels at Brisbane’s new theatre at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).

This initiative will demonstrate the viability of renewable diesel as a low carbon solution within the construction industry. In late 2022, Lendlease began using renewable diesel in tower cranes on the Powerhouse Parramatta project in Sydney, marking a first for Australia. The initiative is used in the majority of Lendlease’s construction projects in the United Kingdom, including Google’s headquarters in London.

This work builds on Lendlease and the University of Queensland’s report, Stepping Up the Pace: Fossil Fuel Free Construction. After exploring many options for decarbonising construction, the most promising options that emerged were electrification and renewable diesel. Lendlease’s 2030 goal is to transition to all construction machinery to be powered by renewable diesel or electricity. 

This progress is a key part of Lendlease’s goal to reach is Climate Mission, Mission Zero, where by the company will be Net Zero by 2025 and  Absolute Zero Carbon across construction, development, and investment management globally by 2040.