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The real estate sector is responsible for driving approximately 40% of global carbon emissions, and as such has a critical role to play in the global race to reach net zero. Considering this, our client needed a clear strategy for measuring and reducing their carbon footprint across a portfolio of 250 existing buildings in Paris. This was the first time that our client had embarked on a project of this size and scale, and so they needed a partner who could help them develop a feasible carbon footprint reduction strategy that could be applied across their entire portfolio. The Arcadis team were happy to step-up.
Our team worked closely with the client to define exactly what their carbon reduction strategy should look like, and how it could best be implemented. Crucially, we recognized that cutting carbon emissions is an industry-wide challenge, and we can only succeed in limiting the subsequent impacts of climate change by working in partnership with others on their own net-zero journey. It was therefore important to both Arcadis and our client that we initiate a more open dialogue within the real estate and decarbonization sectors, and so we began by reaching out to a lot of similar companies to discuss their own approach to reducing carbon emissions in similar buildings across existing portfolios.
This benchmarking assessment across the wider real estate sector gave us the opportunity to analyze a range of existing tools for measuring carbon footprint to see how they perform, as well as study different methodologies for assessing the impact of carbon reduction measures. From there, we developed a sample size of 10 buildings across a range of representative types – including offices, residential, commercial, retail and mixed use – from which to collect the relevant necessary data. The data drawn from this sample size will then form part of a wider carbon reduction strategy for our client, extrapolated across their full portfolio.
This approach means that we can develop a tailor-made methodology when it comes to choosing the appropriate tools and strategy to quantify the carbon impacts of each building within our client's portfolio, enabling us to prioritize the various different sources of carbon emissions and identify which carbon reduction measures will have the greatest impact
This pioneering work will help our client decarbonize its asset portfolio and ultimately contribute to the reduction in real estate CO2 emissions globally.
With data from the World Economic Forum suggesting that around 80% of buildings currently in our cities will still be standing by 2050, the need to prioritize retrofitting for net zero is becoming increasingly important. As such, the impact of this work could have wider applications for landowners with older building portfolios all around the world, where urgent action is needed if countries are to meet their net zero targets.