Retailers and landlords collaborate to tackle climate change

The Retailer/Landlord Net Zero Building Protocol has been launched to reduce carbon emissions from retail properties.

The protocol outlines the principles required for net-zero retail sites and is designed to set high sustainability standards between retailers and property owners.

It is designed to support commitments from businesses to reduce carbon emissions and align with the Government’s requirements for better energy efficiency from buildings.

The protocol covers two main areas: improving the energy efficiency of buildings and supporting more use of renewable energy, both generation and procurement.

The protocol calls on building owners and retailers to work together and invest in measures including insulation for energy efficiency. It would also make it easier to share data on energy use.

In terms of renewable energy use, the protocol asks retailers and property owners to support greater on-site generation of sustainable energy, explore options for purchasing renewable energy, and consider offsetting carbon emissions through increased on-site biodiversity.

The guide forms part of the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC’s) Climate Action Roadmap, which more than 75 major retailers support.

The roadmap aims to get the retail sector and its supply chains to net-zero by 2040.

According to the BRC, the retail sector has a vital role in limiting global warming to 1.5c above pre-industrial levels.

In 2017, the entire lifecycle of the sector’s sold goods had a footprint of around 215 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent, representing 31% of all GHG emissions associated with UK consumption.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:

“The Net Zero Building Protocol is a great opportunity for retailers and property owners to work together towards a greener future. The protocol is the first of its kind to address the sustainability of retail sites with an ambition to improve energy efficiency and embrace renewable energy.

“Climate action demands cross-industry collaboration, and this protocol gives retailers and property owners the language and structure to create a greener property market. The commitments in the protocol, and in the BRC Climate Action Roadmap, will see the retail industry and its supply chain reach net zero emissions by 2040.”

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive of British Property Federation, said:

“Landlords are committed and ambitious about retrofitting properties to improve energy efficiency and deliver on net zero. We welcome an initiative that brings tenants and landlords together to reduce carbon emissions, as open dialogue and data-sharing will be vital to effective collaboration and delivery.”