EDGE commits to Net Zero for all future developments

July 14, 2022
The real estate developer announces immediate 50% cut in carbon emissions of all newly announced projects going forward, as it moves towards absolute zero carbon.

Edge has become one of the first property developers in Europe to set out its roadmap for the eradication of all carbon emissions. Edge has announced that, starting today, all its newly announced developments will be Net Zero carbon – with the ultimate goal being to reduce all Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions including the embodied and operational emissions of its buildings to absolute zero by 2050 or earlier. This means that the first Net Zero developments will be delivered by Edge as early as 2025.

In addition to new developments, Edge’s Net Zero pledge also covers the corporate emissions of its 140 staff. Edge has laid out its own Edge Net Zero Carbon Pathway – with its commitments backed by the Science Based Targets initiative.

The real estate developer’s ambition to reach zero carbon emissions without any requirement for offsetting puts it among a handful of real estate property developers that have made such bold pledges. Achieving absolute zero carbon will require significant change across the construction industry including wider availability of reused materials, greater transparency from suppliers and reliance on renewable energy alone.

Coen van Oostrom, Founder and CEO at Edge and Real Estate Industry Co-Chair at the World Economic Forum, said:

Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time. That’s why we decided 25 years ago that our buildings should be part of the solution rather than the problem. By thinking not just about how we build but also how our buildings are used and how we ourselves operate, we can commit to being one of the first property companies to reach Net Zero and present a clear timetable for achieving zero carbon emissions. We believe the real estate industry should be accountable for its actions. We call on our partners, collaborators and innovators in other industries to join us in taking action to build better, greener and for the future.

Macquarie Asset Management – the world’s largest infrastructure asset manager which has committed to reach Net Zero by 2040 – has recently agreed to acquire a significant minority stake in Edge to drive forward development of greener buildings across Europe.

The Edge Net Zero Carbon Pathway outlines that:

• Starting today – the embodied and operational carbon emissions of all newly announced Edge projects will be reduced by at least 50%, resulting in an upfront embodied carbon target of max. 500 kgCO2e/m2 and a landlord operational energy target of 25 kWh/m2/yr. All residual emissions will be offset for newly announced projects. All emissions related to corporate operations will also be offset.

• By 2030 – the carbon emissions associated with Edge corporate operations will be reduced by at least 50% compared to the pre-COVID 2019 baseline in line with the 1.5-degree roadmap. All projects will be at least within the 50% reduction pathway, if not more. The remaining offsetting requirement will be cut in half compared to 2022.

• By 2050 – carbon emissions will be reduced to absolute zero with no offsetting.

Alongside the Science Based Targets initiative, Edge’s Net Zero Carbon Pathway, has been developed and aligned with the principles laid out in other carbon frameworks from the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), World Economic Forum (WEF) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Coen van Oostrom said:

In meetings with fellow members of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders at the World Economic Forum, it was clear that we need to take quick and decisive action to meet the Paris climate Agreement targets. At Edge we will continue to rethink and innovate – from materials mining and smart sensor technology to addressing scope 3 emissions and the tenant experience. We believe success relies on cross-industry co-operation towards radical change. From now on we are halving all carbon emissions of our newly announced projects. And while we are currently using offsets, we do not see these as a viable solution to our climate problems and are totally committed to reducing our reliance on them to zero.

Edge will work closely with partners in all active markets and continue to pioneer new building methods to reduce the reliance on offsetting to zero. These include using renewable materials such as timber, further developing its circular economy principles, materials reuse and recycling, and reliance on renewable energy. In the spirit of sharing knowledge and collaborating with all its stakeholders, Edge will continue to partner with its tenants to have a holistic impact on a building level.

While it is working towards achieving absolute zero carbon emissions, Edge will use high-quality carbon removal schemes in tandem with Compensate, a not-for-profit organization which helps businesses to offset while moving towards Net Zero. Edge is working with Compensate to identify high-quality offsetting projects to invest in, as well as overcompensating to mitigate risk.

Edge’s portfolio includes many of the world’s smartest and most sustainable office buildings. The Edge in Amsterdam, completed in 2014, was officially recognised as the greenest, smartest building in the world, with a BREEAM rating of 98.36%. Edge’s first Net Zero project will be Edge London Bridge in the UK, to be delivered in 2025.

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