Letter from our head of real estate sustainability
Our vision is to drive leadership in sustainable real estate across our global organization. Now more than ever, we are reminded of our interconnectedness with the planet as we face unprecedented challenges – a global pandemic and critical climate change.
Sustainability is incorporated into every stage of our real estate value chain. COVID-19 has only helped reaffirm our practices, accelerate our goals, and reinforce our five sustainability commitments as detailed in our Real Estate Sustainability Framework. Our ongoing response to climate change and the pandemic involves promoting positive, collaborative, science-based decisions in order to realize the sustainable future that we all envisage.
Our approach to sustainability
We incorporate ESG considerations into each stage of the real estate value chain, from the development or acquisition of a building through to property management and leasing. Our sustainable real estate policy outlines our five sustainability commitments and details our key areas of focus. We then validate practices and performance through public reporting and industry benchmarking.
Our five sustainability commitments
The following highlight our achievements within each of our five sustainability commitments.
Minimize our environmental footprint
- Modeled our global portfolio emissions and reduction opportunities to support an 80% GHG intensity-based reduction target by 2050
- Achieved 80% global green building certification rate
- Buildings achieved 6 new LEED and 11 new BOMA BEST certifications in 2020
Promote responsible business practices
- Achieved PRI Score of "A" in the Direct Reporting module
- Conducted a climate risk and resilience assessment across our global portfolio
- Updated investment tools to better integrate sustainability into our acquisitions process, including social impacts, and physical climate risk assessments
Support health and wellness
- Achieved Fitwel certification at Manulife Place in Edmonton and The Michelson in Irvine
- Launched our return to office program, which defined policies and procedures for the operation of our buildings during and after COVID-19
Be accountable for our performance
- Earned a "Green Star" ranking in all six of our GRESB submissions, including three 5 Star ratings for the third straight year
- Received a GRESB resilience score of 86 out of 100, placing us 3rd out of 14 among our peers and well above the Global/Diversified– Office/Industrial peer group average of 62
- Achieved our proprietary 2020 Sustainable Building Standards targets across all asset classes
Engage our stakeholders
- Hosted virtual events for tenants in partnership with BOMA Canada and Alvéole
- Introduced the community engagement award, a new real estate sustainability award recognizing the property team that exceeds expectations, going above and beyond to support our tenants and our communities
For more information, please refer to our 2021 Real Estate Sustainability Report.
The way forward
Our executive Sustainability Steering Committee sets annual sustainability objectives that focus our efforts and outline key milestones in our strategy. The following are our objectives for 2021.
Advance low-carbon strategy across portfolio, including property GHG reduction plans, and initiate internal carbon management working group
Develop sustainable development guidelines for new construction development
Achieve Fitwel Viral Response Module certification at the entity level
Measure portfolio-wide social impact metrics to establish baseline
Develop and launch two new Sustainable Building Standards: “Climate Change Management” and “Climate Risk and Resilience”, and meet Level 1 across portfolio
Inventory biodiversity initiatives and integrate biodiversity into tenant engagement programs
Reports and important documents
To say it was challenging for all of us to stay connected in 2020 is an understatement. But that only seems to have inspired our Montreal office portfolio team to devise even more innovative ways to engage their tenants and the local community.
A Canadian portfolio milestone
In 2020, we reached an important milestone: 100% of our Canadian managed funds now boast a green building certification. That’s over 19 million square feet that meet a minimum threshold for sustainability.
Cutting corporate carbon
Our aim is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across our portfolio by 80% by 2050. Last year, in support of this, we undertook two key initiatives.
Advancing health and wellness
We are a company with roots in the promotion of public health. Ingrained in our business, wellness is an important part of our sustainability vision and one of our five Sustainability Commitments.