Investa achieves first Science Based Target approval in Australian Real Estate
Investa today announced it has achieved Australia’s first approved real estate Science Based Target, verifying Investa’s ambitious, net zero carbon emissions by 2040 target and re-enforcing Investa’s leadership in committing to the rigour and quality of this globally recognised framework.
Science Based Targets (SBT) is a joint initiative by CDP, the UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and WWF which aims to help businesses pursue bolder solutions to climate change.
Nina James, General Manager, Corporate Sustainability, Investa said: “Investa has worked with the global SBT organisation to refine a pathway for Australian property to verify carbon reduction targets and is proud to be the first Australian company formally approved for a real estate Science Based Target.”
To qualify for an approved SBT, Investa’s carbon reduction strategy needed to demonstrate its alignment with climate change science, adhere to the Paris Agreement 2 degree commitment and meet a set of stringent sector-based scope 1, 2 and 3 reduction targets. 1 In addition, a SBT requires certifying organisations to address supply chain (Scope 3) emissions, which in Investa’s case relates to tenant emissions.
Investa’s base building target is underpinned by its carbon reduction strategy, which targets operational efficiency, building materiality, energy production, procurement and stakeholder engagement. In 2018, in line with its SBT commitment, Investa expanded on its base building target by setting an industry first, Scope 3 emissions reduction target of 42% by 2040, over the one million square metres of office space occupied by tenants across its portfolio.
“To date, the Australian real estate sector limits emission reporting to Scope 1 and 2 emissions, which reflect base building operations only. As a global leader in sustainability, Investa has gone beyond managing just our own corporate emission responsibilities, to now target reductions in total building consumption, enabling our tenants to join us in transitioning to a low carbon economy and having a broader impact on the communities in which we operate,” said Ms James.
The shift into Scope 3 emissions reporting reflects a global trend of large organisations increasingly using their carbon emissions reporting as part of good corporate governance practices. Regulatory barriers in Australian commercial real estate have historically prevented access to tenant energy consumption data, which Investa has addressed by introducing the industry’s first Performance Lease in 2018, which requires tenants to share resource consumption data with the building owner. Having access to this information enables Investa to leverage its deep expertise in low carbon office management to help tenants improve their own emissions performance.
Dermot O’Gorman, CEO, WWF-Australia said: “Investa’s leadership demonstrates that once again Australian businesses are getting ahead of the curve and making a serious commitment to reducing Australia’s emissions.
Investa is taking a significant step ahead of other companies in the region to demonstrate its commitment to the goals of the global Paris Agreement.
WWF congratulates Investa on being the first Australian property company to adopt science-based targets and look forward to have more leading Australian companies on board,” Mr O’Gorman said.
1  Scope 1: All direct GHG emissions.
 Scope 2: Indirect GHG emissions from consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam.
 Scope 3: Other indirect emissions, such as the extraction and production of purchased materials and fuels, transport-related activities in vehicles not owned or controlled by the reporting entity, electricity-related activities (e.g. T&D losses) not covered in Scope 2, outsourced activities, waste disposal.