Insights 10th March 2021 esg

By 2050, every single building on the planet will need to hit the Net Zero energy-use reduction goal to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and global warming.

Most of the buildings that will exist in three decades have already been built. As such, achieving Net Zero targets will involve a far-reaching round of refurbishment and renovations.

What is Net Zero?

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) defines the Net Zero emissions target as being achieved when: “the amount of carbon emissions associated with a building’s operational energy on an annual basis is zero or negative.”

Therefore, a carbon Net Zero building is: “highly energy-efficient and powered from onsite and/or off-site renewable energy sources, with any remaining carbon balance offset.”

How it can be achieved

The UK Government has legislated a national target of achieving these targets by 2050. The real estate industry should approach the challenge with confidence and determination.The real estate industry should approach the challenge with confidence and determination. Existing buildings contribute 40% of the UK’s total carbon emissions annually (UKGBC). It  should take proactive, systematic steps towards targeting carbon emissions reduction for all buildings.

To achieve Net Zero, buildings must identify solutions to reduce reliance on fossil fuels for heating, cooling, lighting and plug-loads. Effective management and refurbishment processes drive the reduction of total carbon emissions and improvement of sustainability performance.

The Workman Net Zero Asset Plan

We combined our expertise in property management and building consultancy. We have developed customised plans to achieve Net Zero for your assets by 2050. In effect, this reduces both operational and embodied carbon. Many of our clients are aiming to reach the target sooner.

We have developed our ESG expertise and capabilities over the past 10 years. We have worked with many of the UK’s leading institutional investors. There were broad and challenging ESG objectives around cutting their carbon footprint.

We are currently developing Asset Plans for over 1.5 million sq. ft of assets and new developments. Our goal is to achieve the targets by 2050 or potentially ahead of schedule. These plans include:

  • A 254,000 sq. ft office redevelopment identified a 31% reduction in energy demand by improving building fabric and M&E plant.
  • In a 36,500 sq. ft office refurbishment, we have identified a 78% reduction in energy demand through M&E improvements, including the introduction of an air-source heat pump.
  • Other recently confirmed Net Zero Asset Plan instructions include a 525,000 sq. ft multi-site office portfolio. Additionally, a portfolio of new build student accommodation.

Practical Net Zero advice and implementation

A comprehensive Net Zero Asset Plan

Drawing on our knowledge and experience, a comprehensive asset review provides a unique pathway to achieving carbon neutrality for your assets. Created in accordance with the UKGBC’s Advancing Net Zero (ANZ) framework, our Asset Plan will provide recommendations and direction. It will draw together existing information and identifying knowledge gaps.

The Plan consists of the nine work-streams. A clear framework is provided through which we investigate and identify all required initiatives and report throughout.

The creation and implementation of Asset Plans are led by our experienced ESG team. They work closely with clients and in-house teams. As members of the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) Managing Agents Partnership and ISO:14001 accredited, we share an ongoing commitment to the sustainable management of the real estate, which we combine with practical advice and implementation.

Stakeholder engagement is crucial

Knowing, understanding and engaging with stakeholders will be key to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions at the asset and portfolio level. The goal cannot be achieved without a united approach. It should come from all key stakeholders involved within an asset.

Relationships with investors, occupiers, contractors and consultants will be the glue that brings together all parties to agree – and achieve a shared carbon neutrality target.

Read more about our Asset Plans.

Read more here about our ESG services and our ESG Project Advisor service.