QuadReal Property Group (QuadReal) has made the bold and ever-important move to decarbonize its global portfolio by 2050. 

As the real estate and development industry continues to navigate global demands to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Vancouver-based global real estate investment, operating, and development company also announced several key milestones in advance of this date. Notably, it pledges a 50% carbon reduction of its global portfolio by 2030. By 2040, QuadReal says all Canadian offices will achieve net-zero emissions.

This isn’t the first time QuadReal made impactful moves on the greenhouse gas emission front. QuadReal’s net-zero strategy builds on its original 2016 mandate to achieve an 80% carbon reduction goal across its Canadian operations. In a press release, QuadReal says that, since 2016, the company has demonstrated leadership in reducing carbon emissions across its Canadian portfolio and will use key earnings to accelerate and deepen its sustainability goals in both its Canadian and international assets. 

“Sustainability has always been a key component of QuadReal’s investment and management strategies and is becoming more and more of a precondition for the long-term financial feasibility of our programs,” says Lucy Fletcher, Managing Director, Global Portfolio Management, QuadReal. “As active managers, expanding our carbon reduction targets to net zero across our entire portfolio will allow us to meet and exceed our fiduciary responsibility to all our stakeholders and clients, and help lead the market in innovation and execution.” 

QuadReal highlights how its net-zero targets align with leading global commitment programs, like The Climate Pledge and The Race to Zero Campaign. It says its measurement framework for the net-zero target also aligns with science-based carbon reduction goals set by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). QuadReal’s strategy includes reductions of scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions, with Canadian property-level plans to be in place by 2025. 

“Just as green-certified buildings have outperformed in the past decade, we believe net-zero buildings will outperform the market in the coming decade,” says Jamie Gray-Donald, Senior Vice President of Sustainability & Environmental, Health & Safety, QuadReal. “Our pathway to net zero includes very specific interim targets to help inform next steps at the property level and will be applied to all the real estate we manage. We are also committed to being transparent in our approach and measurement tools so we can help lead the real estate industry in the transition to a net-zero economy.” 

To achieve interim targets and ensure accountability, carbon audits will replace energy audits and will inform property-level net-zero transition plans. Carbon reductions at the property level will be driven by two strategies: replacing fossil fuels with low-carbon electricity options, combined with building upgrades that allow energy to be used more efficiently. QuadReal expects building efficiency upgrades to provide a 40% reduction in emissions, based on previous retrofits. The company’s commitment will also allow offsets or credits to cover a maximum 10% of baseline emissions.  

In addition to focusing on its own net-zero targets, QuadReal says it plans to continue sharing its tools and programs with international partners and industry peers. "By aligning with and supporting groups such as The Canadian Climate Institute, the Net-Zero Advisory Body, the Canadian Green Building Council, Center for Active Design and Fitwel, QuadReal hopes to help propel the real estate industry forward in mitigating climate risk and achieving net zero," reads the press release.

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