Letter from the CEO
2022 was another tumultuous year for the German and UK economies. So, why have we chosen to publish our first environmental, social and governance report outlining how we will embed these considerations into the business?
In a nutshell, we believe sustainability is good for our business. We want to deliver for our stakeholders now and in the future, adapting to the changes in the geopolitical environments, including climate change. By building on our ongoing efforts to embed ESG into our operations and financial planning, we intend to increase the long-term value of our assets and create opportunities for growth.
What opportunities there are. Real estate is the world’s largest asset class and Sirius is a role model of the circular economy principles gaining traction with consumers and policymakers. Where once developers were urged to knock down buildings and build from scratch, now there is growing acknowledgement that extending the lifespan of buildings through renovation and retrofitting is key to avoiding embodied emissions and conserving resources. This has been our business model from the start. If and when it becomes an imperative due to regulation, carbon taxes or both, Sirius will be ready.
Looking at Scope 1, 2 and 3
I am pleased to confirm that we will achieve net-zero for our Scope 1 and 2 emissions this year in Germany. This is thanks to close to 100% renewable energy provision at our new Berlin office and our asset management offices across the portfolio as well as our ongoing efforts to improve efficiencies in our heating and lighting systems, plus the transition of our company cars to hybrid or fully electric vehicles.
Now we need to confront the Scope 3 emissions in our value chain. Sirius is making strong progress towards understanding its carbon footprint, including the creation of an award-winning model to measure its embodied carbon in its refurbishment projects (see page 12 in our ESG Report). Having established robust baselines, we can now build a credible and commercially viable net-zero pathway. With the nature of our assets, we recognise the importance and complexity of achieving net-zero across our business, but we are fully committed to doing so as quickly as reasonably possible.
Following our entrance into the UK market through the acquisition of BizSpace in 2021, I am also delighted by the ongoing efforts of our UK and German teams to collaboratively integrate our environmental and social programmes.”
Listening and engaging
Our employees tell us they want to be part of a business that has a positive impact on the world, and we are listening. Our tenants tell us they support our efforts to become more sustainable, and we are listening. We are listening to our shareholders too. Increasing the value of our assets, making our buildings more efficient to run, anticipating forthcoming regulation, attracting and retaining diverse talent, engaging with our tenants and communities, operating ethically – this all makes sound and sustainable business sense. With economic principles at the forefront of our strategy, we are confident these too will support the continued growth of Sirius Real Estate.
I would also like to express my gratitude for the hard work and commitment of colleagues across the business, including, but not limited to, members of our ESG Committees in Germany and the UK, our TCFD Working Group, our Sustainability and Ethics Committee and our Board. We have a journey ahead of us and we are committed to being completely transparent on our ambitions and how we will achieve them. We look forward to updating our stakeholders on our progress.
Chief Executive Officer