Market Insight

Energy, Sustainability & COP27 – There’s no planet B, it’s time to act

On the back of the hottest summer in Europe in 500 years, punishing spring heatwaves in Asia killing hundreds and many countries recording the highest temperatures since records began, it is clearer than ever that climate change is having a devastating impact on the planet.
November 10, 2022
As the focus turns to the gathering of world leaders at COP27 this week, calls for a decade of committed climate action are reaching fever pitch, as people the world over demand a ramping up of effort to ensure resilience in the face of climate change, whilst at the same time curbing greenhouse gas emissions.[i]

According to the United Nations Environment Program, buildings and their construction account for 36% of global energy use and 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions annually.

These emissions are made up of a combination of two things – ‘operational’ carbon emissions which come from lighting, air-conditioning, heating and ‘embodied’ from the carbon emitted in the production and delivery of construction materials, and the construction process itself which accounts for approximately 25% of a building’s lifecycle emissions.

The UK Government has set an ambitious target enshrined in law to reduce UK emissions by 78% by 2035 and net-zero by 2050 to limit the impact of global warming and the catastrophic effects of climate change.

As a property consultancy, we recognise our responsibility in this matter – influenced not only by our own internal ambitions and environmental policy, but also by the need to support our clients in making energy efficiency and sustainable solutions a priority.

Many companies and landlords are looking to measure their emissions and plan to reduce their Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Real estate has a real impact on Scope 1 & 2 emissions and better efficiency of boilers, electricity and energy useage can play a significant role in energy efficiency gains.

It is already unlawful to lease a building with an EPC of F or G, and the UK Government is introducing a minimum requirement of EPC D from April 2023. This rises to EPC C by 2027 and there is consultation on a minimum of A or B by 2030, which will affect the majority of UK real estate assets.

But what does this mean?

It represents a fantastic opportunity for developers, landlords and occupiers to work together to reduce energy usage, increase energy efficiency and mitigate the lifecycle impact of real estate decisions on the environment, ahead of these goals. We look forward to working with our clients to support them in their journey towards Net-Zero, working with a range of specialist partners.

If you are interested in finding out more about how Vail Williams can support you in achieving your energy and sustainability goals, get in touch to find out more about our cross-discipline Energy and Sustainability Team.

Made up of a range of experienced occupier and landlord advisers, building consultancy, planning experts and best-in-class external consultants, we will work with you to achieve your environmental and sustainability goals.

Vail Williams has already developed considerable track record in assisting clients with a variety of energy efficiency initiatives – from insulating buildings, the installation of PV Cells, and refurbishment of M&E to the installation of EV charging points, resulting in improved EPC ratings and reduction in power usage and cost.

For more information, contact our Head of Energy & Sustainability – David Thomas.

[i] COP27: A chance to act by United Nations Development Programme – United Nations Development Programme | UNDP – Exposure