British Land announces ambitious science-based targets for scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions


British Land has announced that the Science Based Target initiative has validated that its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions align with a 1.5°C global warming scenario, the most ambitious designation available through the SBTi process. The key commitments are:

  • To reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 51% by FY2030 from a FY20 base year
  • To reduce scope 3 GHG emissions 55% per sqm of net lettable area over the same target timeframe.

These commitments are consistent with its 2030 Sustainability Strategy and build on British Land’s track record of improving the energy efficiency of our space.  By 2020, it had achieved a 73% reduction in scope 1 and scope 2 carbon intensity versus a 2009 baseline, reflecting the wide range of energy efficient interventions delivered across its portfolio.

In December, British Land set out our Pathway to Net Zero Carbon identifying the practical steps  to deliver on its goals. British Land is already underway with a number of these initiatives including:

  • Net zero carbon asset audits: a programme of net zero asset audits of its standing portfolio, identifying opportunities to retrofit our buildings, supporting our target to improve whole building energy efficiency
  • Transition Vehicle: financed by a £60 levy on embodied carbon in new developments and supported by an annual float of £5m, the Transition Vehicle will fund energy saving interventions identified by our net zero carbon asset audits as well as purchase certified offsets
  • Reducing carbon in development: by prioritising re-use, British Land is delivering buildings with lower embodied carbon than a traditional new build.  It completed a whole life carbon assessment on all developments and are piloting the NABERS UK Design for Performance on two developments in our pipeline, 1 Broadgate and 2-3 Finsbury Avenue.

Matthew Webster, Head of Portfolio Sustainability at British Land said, “These are stretching targets, but technology can play a key role in optimising energy usage and our team is highly experienced at finding new and innovative ways to make our space more efficient.  We recognise the urgent need to be ambitious in the environmental goals we set ourselves and are supported in this by our customers, partners, suppliers and people.”

Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive at the UK Green Building Council said, “It’s extremely encouraging to see British Land’s latest announcements on how it will reach a 1.5°C aligned portfolio over the years ahead. Of particular note, is its commitment to even further cuts in absolute emissions by 2030, and also their thoughtful use of carbon levies on the embodied carbon of new developments to bring about further reductions in energy usage across the portfolio. If we are to truly tackle the climate crisis, we need more businesses to look beyond Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions reductions and work hard to engage closely with their customers and suppliers to drive down emissions across the value chain.”


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