Adopting BREEAM can be catapult toward Net Zero

Using a sustainability certification system such as BREEAM, launched in 1990, may already put property investment and asset managers well on the way to achieving their Net Zero goals, as Amsterdam-headquartered Redevco has discovered.

“Over the past years the redevelopments that we’ve done and the improvements that we’ve made using BREEAM as our primary methodology for driving performance didn’t concentrate or focus on energy efficiency per se,” said Redevco head of sustainable business operations Clemens Brenninkmeijer. “But just by focusing on a better BREEAM result we’ve actually found that we’ve achieved up to 40% improvements on energy intensity.”

Now a science-based requirement to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 is in force, en route to Net Zero by 2040. “If we focus deliberately on energy intensity improvements and eradicating fossil fuels from our assets, I’m convinced that we can actually get much better performance in our developments driving to 50%, 60%, 70% reductions versus what we would otherwise get,” Brenninkmeijer told Real Asset Insight at the recent EXPO Real property show in Munich.

He said that data is key to asset management now. “Over the past years we’ve really made a concerted effort to capture the energy consumption in our assets under management – our tenant consumption especially – so that we have our baseline and we know what actions we need to take and where we need to prioritise to help drive the emissions reduction for our Net Zero goal.”

Active choices

He said that translates to active choices when redeveloping assets. “It means that we can make very deliberate choices around things like insulation, glazing and working with our tenants to move from fossil fuel-based HVAC systems to all-electric systems.”

Redevco has been investing in solar panels on roofs to increase the share of on-site renewables and has been persuading tenants to think about how they procure electricity.

“If we can drive all these different things together then we’re confident that we can actually make a real dent in our operational emissions and drive towards net zero,” he said. It also enables deliberate choices to be made on materials to reduce or avoid the upfront and embodied emissions that are associated with projects.

Please click on the video above to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.