Immofinanz to reach emission-free status by 2040
Commercial real estate company Immofinanz is looking to become emission-free along its entire value chain by 2040, according to goals set by the company's Net Zero Emission Strategy.
The key goals of the strategy are to reduce all climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. CO2, methane, etc.) by 60% below the 2019 level by 2030 and to make the common areas and portfolio space managed by Immofinanz emission-free. The entire value chain is projected to be emission-free by 2040, i.e. including construction and refurbishing measures. The company will also support tenants in reaching net zero-emission status.
According to the strategy, all greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced, and only technologically unavoidable residual emissions will be neutralized through compensation measures. The timetable will be reviewed at five-year intervals up to 2040 to drive the related measures, utilize opportunities and give customers, tenants, and investors a clear impression of the status of target attainment.
“The acute climate crisis and the related ecological impact are the most pressing challenges of our time, and we are all called on to act. We have therefore set an ambitious goal to become emission-free in all areas of our company by 2040. That reflects our commitment to accept responsibility for mankind and our environment as well as our intention to play a leading role in the sustainable transformation of our industry," comments Dietmar Reindl, COO of Immofinanz.
Each year; at least 5% of the property portfolio will undergo extensive energy efficiency refurbishment. The company is also looking to significantly increase its own renewable energy production by installing photovoltaic equipment on the rooftops of the Stop Shop retail parks and equipping all new locations with photovoltaic systems. The myhive office buildings and VIVO! shopping centers will be outfitted with photovoltaic equipment where possible and depending on the location. External electricity supplies will be converted to 100% renewable energy sources and the purchase of fossil fuels will be terminated. Energy-saving lighting systems will be installed throughout the entire portfolio in the future, and refrigerants with a high greenhouse gas potential will be replaced. The use of smart technologies for all properties will be massively expanded, including the digitalization of consumption in all areas.
Transition to a circular economy
The transformation to a circular economy is another important element of the Net Zero Emission Strategy. In the future, the company will use recycled materials that can be purchased locally in renovation, refurbishment, and new construction projects. A broad-based waste management system will be introduced to precisely review existing disposal contracts and develop new guidelines. Immofinanz is also preparing emission-free application standards that will drastically reduce the amount of released carbon and so-called “grey emissions” during project development and extensive renovations.
The company has also set a goal to significantly reduce water consumption. Water-saving fittings will be installed throughout the entire portfolio and rainwater utilization systems will be integrated in all new projects. The biodiversity program includes the design of green areas at Immofinanz properties to support the local ecosystem. These plans will be part of new property development in the future, whereby no pesticides will be used to maintain the green areas.
International Science Based Target Initiative as a guideline to reduce emissions
As part of its Net Zero Emission Strategy and a commitment to the internationally recognized Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi), Immofinanz has agreed to set scientifically-based emission reduction goals for the entire value chain which will limit global warming to 1.5°C over the pre-industrial level. The scientific approach applied by SBTi includes a validation program. In agreement with the requirements defined by SBTi, the company has focused its Net Zero Emission Strategy on the latest scientific findings.
“We are convinced that we are on a very ambitious – but also a very right course with our net zero-emission strategy. However, we realize that we can only meet these targets together with all our stakeholders. A focus on sustainability will strengthen our portfolio performance, protect our competitive advantages on the market, and generate long-term value for our shareholders. We are aware of our responsibility and well prepared to consistently implement this strategy," added Reindl.
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