With a promise to reach net zero emissions across its entire value chain by 2050, global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield will pursue ambitious science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) In addition, by signing up to the Business Ambition for 1.5ºC.
“With buildings generating a significant portion of the world’s carbon emissions, we recognize Cushman & Wakefield plays a vital role in shaping a sustainable future for the real estate industry and beyond,” said Brett White, executive chairman and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield.
Cushman & Wakefield will immediately focus efforts on its corporate offices and operations by committing to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 market-based GHG emissions 50% by 2030 from a 2019 base year. Scope 1 includes direct emissions and Scope 2 emissions are from purchased heat and electricity.
The firm’s science-based targets will not only reduce absolute GHG emissions from its corporate operations, but will also include the facilities it manages on behalf of its clients, some of the world’s largest real estate owners and occupiers, the firm said.
The firm committed to partnering with its clients (representing 70% of its Scope 3 indirect value chain emissions from assets or controlled by reporting organization) to set their own science-based targets by 2025. Approximately 99% of Cushman & Wakefield’s emissions come from facilities it manages on behalf of clients, and the firm is committed to actualizing its vision of a sustainable future that extends beyond its own corporate footprint.
These targets have been approved by the SBTi.
Additionally, by 2050, the firm pledges to achieve net zero emissions across its entire value chain, encompassing all direct and indirect business elements that contribute to GHG emissions (Scopes 1, 2 and 3). This target was pledged through the Race to Zero campaign and the SBTi’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C pathway — initiatives using climate science frameworks to reach net zero in a global effort to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.
“As a leader in the commercial real estate industry, we understand environmental action requires bold commitments aligned with climate science,” said John Forrester, president of Cushman & Wakefield. “These commitments further our ongoing efforts to reduce our impact and our clients’ impact on the environment as well as mitigate the impacts of climate change. We have an opportunity and responsibility to continually evaluate our organization and hold ourselves accountable for the intended outcomes. We realize our work goes beyond the present moment and will impact generations to come.”
These targets build upon Cushman & Wakefield’s longstanding commitment to reducing its own environmental impact across the property life cycle, in addition to suppliers’ and clients’ impact. In 2020, the firm achieved a 1.1% absolute reduction in scope 1 and 2 (market-based) GHG emissions; a 2.5% absolute reduction in scope 3 GHG emissions and a 14% reduction in total scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions per million square feet (MSF) of office space. Cushman & Wakefield also worked with clients to provide energy and sustainability services to over 370 million square feet of space in the U.S. in 2020.