The road to building zero

in retail

The evolving impact of climate change is one of the biggest challenges currently facing society, the economy and commercial real estate. Whilst many countries, including the UK, have announced a decarbonisation strategy and net zero carbon targets in the coming years, it will need the support of consumers and industry to meet these ambitious goals.

The real estate sector will be a key contributor in reducing emissions as it is estimated that buildings are responsible for almost 40% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As one of the largest sectors of commercial property, the retail industry has a huge part to play in this, with many businesses placing environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies at the forefront of future strategy plans. This report focusses on the changes required in the retail built environment1 to optimise energy efficiency and reduce carbon.

Dan Kent
Managing Director, UK Retail

"ESG strategies for retailers are an important priority for them and it is encouraging to see positive steps that have already been taken by some of the biggest players in the industry to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions - since 2019, 27 leading UK retailers have reduced their scope 1 & 2 emissions by nearly 1.6 million tonnes. Our report looks at the trends for the retail sector’s sustainability drive. The challenge is significant, but we will see further innovation from the UK’s leading retailers to tackle the issue in the future."

Jon Gibson
Global Director, ESG

"The quality of the UK’s retail stock is polarised. Approximately 40% of supermarkets and retail parks are already at the 2030 EPC B target compared to just 14% for shopping centres, due to the fact that many shopping centres are much older buildings, with more complex heating and cooling systems and challenges of dealing with multiple occupancy. The cost of upgrading is substantial, at over £24 billion, with almost two thirds of this cost coming from shopping centres. Whilst this is good news for owners of out-of-town retail, this will add further pressure on to shopping centres owners, some of which are already struggling with high vacancy rates and low footfall. "

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  • Director, Market Intelligence
  • London