Welcome back to the latest edition of the Impact blog. Here at Sirius we’ve been busy progressing our sustainability strategy and working on some really exciting wider developments in the business. I wanted to take a moment to revisit this blog and set out what we see as two of the key trends in ESG around real estate for the coming year.
Increasing focus on biodiversity
Towards the end of 2021 we saw increasing attention being paid to biodiversity as a key element of global sustainability. At the COP26 climate conference in November of last year, 45 governments and 95 multinational companies committed to investing in nature protection and more sustainable land use practices – an acknowledgement of the fact that stewarding nature will be crucial in meeting climate targets.
We expect to see attention on this topic increase in the coming months as more corporates turn their focus to reducing impact on nature and capitalising on biodiversity as a tool against the climate crisis. It’s interesting to see investors pushing for action in this area too. Just last month asset manager Aviva Investors announced plans to push company boards towards greater action on biodiversity as part of a more comprehensive approach to sustainability.
Biodiversity is something we’ve discussed in detail before on this blog and it plays an important part in our sustainability strategy here at Sirius.
Across our portfolio in Germany we steward over 500,000 square metres of green space and over 9,000 trees – this quantity of trees we aim to at least double over the next 12 months. We take great care to ensure these green spaces are as biodiverse as possible – for example through installing ‘bug hotels’ and minimising grass cutting. We’ve also established Sirius beehives in Germany with our partners Hektar Nektar, an initiative that’s working towards boosting the bee population in Germany by 10% over the coming decade.
We’re pleased to see more attention being paid to biodiversity across corporates and governments, and we’ll continue to focus on it as a driver of sustainability within our business.
Sustainable supply chains
A company’s supply chain is an important part of its overall environmental impact, and increasingly we’re seeing corporates place increasing focus on ensuring that the businesses that make up its supply chain adhere to sustainable practices.
This should mean companies will scrutinise more aspects of their business than ever before through a sustainability lens – including the spaces that they and the companies they deal with in their supply chain make use of to carry out their operations. This is why across our portfolio in Germany we supply 99.4% of the energy used by our tenants from 100% certified green electricity sources.
We also believe in transparency around emissions and impact, which is why we report against Scope 1, 2 and 3emissions and in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, to help clarify our environmental impact as part of our tenants’ supply chains, and those of their potential customers.
Our CEO Andrew Coombs has written before about how the pandemic is bringing supply chains closer to end customers in a process known as ‘nearshoring’ – shortening the distances between production and end user is an obvious way to reduce the impact of a supply chain, and something we’re well placed to meet demand for with our portfolio of flexible spaces.
As major corporates put increasing pressure on the companies in their supply chains around sustainability, we expect to see more and more firms focus on sustainable spaces across sector and scale.
These are just some of the developments in ESG we see taking place in 2022, and we look forward to bringing you more updates on sustainability across the business. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on ESG, particularly if there are any trends you see as being particularly important for the year ahead.