SBTi teams up with Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor initiative to develop fully aligned 1.5C decarbonisation pathways for the real estate sector.

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has announced a new partnership with the Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor (CRREM) initiative to provide property investors and businesses with new decarbonisation pathways specifically tailored for the global real estate sector.

Backed by major investors such as APG, PGGM, NBIM, as well as the Laudes Foundation, the new partnership aims to develop “globally consistent standards” that can help real estate market participants formulate, set, and implement science-based targets that aim to reduce operational carbon emissions from buildings in line with a 1.5C future.

CRREM and the SBTi said they have agreed to fully align their existing methodologies to 1.5C pathways for operational real estate emissions.

The initiatives said their new joint ‘CRREM-SBTi pathways’ would offer investors and operators “significant granularity” with separate pathways offered for all major use-types and real estate investment hubs globally.

“This partnership combines previous work of both organizations and guarantees one major global standard for operational decarbonisation of buildings, providing companies in this sector with the clarity and confidence that their decarbonization plans are aligned with climate science,” they added.

Karl Downey, senior technical manager at the SBTi said the new pathways would provide the real estate sector with a valuable new tool as growing numbers of property companies and investors look to deliver on their new net zero emission targets.

“Science is clear: we must halve emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero before 2050 if we want to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown; and this will only be possible by exponentially growing the number of companies setting science-based targets, including those in the buildings industry,” he said. “Through this collaboration between CRREM and the SBTi, we will give companies in the buildings sector a robust standard methodology to scale up their climate actions at the depth and pace needed to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and stand a fighting chance of maintaining a habitable planet for us all.”

The project is set to bring together two expert advisory groups, with representation from key stakeholders from private sector, civil society organisations, investors, policymakers, and academics, to develop the new pathways. The updated pathways are slated to be released in April 2022.

Sven Bienert, founder and managing director of the Institute for Real Estate Economics (IIÖ) and head of the CRREM initiative, said: “CRREM has set the standard for operational decarbonization pathways in real estate and the SBTi has launched the Net-Zero Standard to enable companies to align their corporate net-zero targets with limiting global warming to 1.5C. Together the two bodies will ensure that market participants have free access to global decarbonization pathways that are scientifically robust, anchored with investors and industry bodies, and fully aligned with the SBTi target validation protocol.”

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