Sustainable development has been integral to Covivio’s DNA and strategy for more than 10 years and our CSR performance is widely praised by non-financial rating agencies. In response to ever-increasing environmental and climate concerns, we are adopting an ambitious carbon trajectory aiming to make Covivio a role model in low-carbon real estate.Christophe Kullmann
Chief Executive Officer, Covivio
Covivio initiated a proactive approach towards reducing its carbon footprint. In 2018, an initial trajectory, compatible with the 2°C scenario of the Paris Agreement, was approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi ). By the end of 2020, Covivio had already reduced its emissions by 20% relative to 2010. Ahead of target, the company is accelerating its transition and has set its sights on a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (compared with 34% previously).
This target, which encompasses scopes 1, 2 and 3, covers the full range of Covivio’s European activities (office, residential and hotel real estate) and spans the entire asset life cycle, from materials and construction to remodelling and operation.
Covivio is also targeting net zero carbon from 2030 for scopes 1 and 2.
This carbon trajectory is based on an appropriate action plan which covers all scopes: we have made a point of including all the countries where we operate and all of our products, taking into account both construction and materials. We will use all the levers we can to meet the challenges we have set ourselves.Jean-Eric Fournier
Sustainable Development Director, Covivio
How can these targets be achieved?
Prioritise refurbishment and tackle urban sprawl: today, more than 50% of Covivio’s new projects involve the refurbishment of existing buildings, with the aim of “net zero land take”, or even reverse land take, to encourage biodiversity, sequester carbon and address the urban heat island effect (100% of new office development projects include green spaces). By combining the reuse of buildings with the circular economy, the use of sustainable materials and the installation of advanced systems for efficient building management, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced throughout the life cycle of the asset.
Committing to low-carbon construction on a European scale-: Covivio has commissioned the CSTB to produce LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) specifications. These will foster a low-carbon construction approach within the group, drawing on the French experience of BBCA-certified projects . The Thaïs building in Levallois-Perret was the first Covivio building to be certified back in 2017. Improving how we measure the carbon footprint of our operations is key to achieving the 1.5°C trajectory.
Providing new tools: two tools developed in 2020 in association with the CSTB allow us to monitor the actual performance of the portfolio relative to the 2°C trajectory. The first tool relates to construction and refurbishment, in the form of an “Express LCA” which measures the impact of the chosen construction materials and techniques on the carbon footprint of a development during the project’s upstream phase. The second tool covers the operational phase and calculates the financial and carbon impact of the energy efficiency improvements made to the portfolio.
Encouraging the use of renewable energy: Covivio installs the appropriate systems for its development projects (solar power, geothermal energy, etc.). By 2030, it plans to supply 100% of its directly managed commercial properties with renewable electricity (compared with 61% at end-2020), while raising awareness about the issue among its tenants for tenant areas.
With a responsible purchasing policy in place since 2011 for its suppliers and a strong partnership strategy with its tenants, Covivio is rallying all stakeholders to together make climate transition a success.
Lastly, by engaging in initiatives such as Alliance HQE-GBC , BBCA , SEKOYA and the hub for low-carbon specifiers (Hub des Prescripteurs bas carbone) , Covivio is developing its expertise in low-carbon construction and management to support its 10-year vision.