As mentioned in our note on delivering our net zero target, scope 1 & 2 emissions, being the gas and electricity controlled by an owner, are relatively easy to reduce. Scope 3 – emissions in relation to the occupier’s (as opposed to the owner’s) gas and electricity usage, as well as supply chain emissions from internal or external works on the property – provides far greater challenges for owners. For a typical fund, scope 3 emissions represent a far greater level (typically 80%+) than scope 1 and 2 combined.
Ultimately, a greater understanding of scope 3 emissions should help to increase its influence on business decision-making, such as refurbishment initiatives, redevelopment timescales and wider day-to-day interventions to drive emissions reductions. Positive engagement between the owner and occupier working together will deliver the greatest impact as both have a role to play in the emissions during the life cycle of an asset.
Collaboration is essential to achieve mutual aims and ambitions to reduce emissions, provide efficiencies and to work to deliver a cleaner environment. But the first step is to foster and deepen this engagement.
A simple example of fostering and deepening engagement would be working together at early design stages of a building to maximise occupational efficiency, environmental credentials, wellness criteria, and seeking to remove future obsolescence by building in flexibility to the accommodation created. This provides long-term benefits, with an occupier having a fit-for-purpose building and reduced running costs, and the owner having a more resilient asset by reducing transitional and obsolescence risk.