How we at LGS are supporting the transition to net-zero
10 February 2021
In 2015, 196 countries adopted the Paris Climate Agreement, which is a legally binding international treaty targeted at combating climate change.
The goal is to ultimately limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or lower, restoring temperatures to preindustrial levels.
It’s up to each individual country to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions significantly and they can do this by adopting a net-zero emissions policy.
New South Wales’ goal is to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, according to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
Looking at this timeline, we at LGS had to ask: "Should we wait that long, or act now?"
We are committed to achieving net-zero operating carbon emissions by 2030. LGS has achieved carbon neutral certification for all NABERS-rated buildings in its direct property portfolio and we are advocating for all building stock to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. That means that we are already well down the path to lowering our carbon emissions today.
But before we get into how we are supporting the transition to net-zero, let’s talk about what exactly it is and what it means for our planet.
What does net-zero emissions mean?
According to Climate Council, net zero emissions refers to achieving an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and greenhouse gas emissions taken out of the atmosphere. To meet the goal of net zero, new emissions of greenhouse gas must be as low as possible. This means we need to rapidly phase out fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – and transition to renewable energy.
Greenhouse gases can be eliminated from the atmosphere by either carbon removal, which involves deploying techniques that actually take carbon from the air and store it, or carbon offsetting, which is the act of funding projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions to cancel out the carbon emitted.
Transitioning to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions is the fastest way that we can combat climate change. This policy will not only limit the amount of damage humans cause to the planet in the future, but it will put us on a path to offset some of the damage that has already been done.
Greenhouse gas emissions contribute to global warming, which has imminent consequences for humanity.
Why is it important for companies to have net-zero emissions?
Carbon dioxide, the main contributor to climate change, stays in the atmosphere and keeps heating the planet for years and years to come. Climate change can have catastrophic effects on the future of our planet if we do not create drastic changes starting today. Without taking proper action, Australia will be at risk of:
- More and stronger heat waves
- Increases in bush fires
- Temperature-related health concerns
- Longer droughts
- More intense storm activity
- Coastal damage
- Loss of ecosystems
Repairing our planet and restoring appropriate global temperatures cannot wait any longer.
You’ve probably heard of all the ways that you, as an individual, can combat climate change — recycle, switch to a plant-based diet, take public transport, conserve energy in your home and more. While those are all admirable endeavours that certainly make a difference, individual consumption is not the main culprit of climate change.
Corporations emit the bulk of the world’s greenhouse gases. In fact, two-thirds of Australia’s national carbon emissions can be attributed to 65 companies, according to a Footprint report.
This means that it is up to Australian companies to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that our country produces and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. LGS understands this and we have promised to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions for the future of our planet.
How LGS is transitioning to net-zero emissions
At LGS, we know that change starts from within. That’s why our first and primary goal is to achieve net-zero operating emissions across our direct property portfolio by 2030.
LGS owns eight properties — four office buildings, three retail centres and one multi-unit industrial estate. We understand that part of our responsibility is to ensure that these assets limit their greenhouse gas emissions. We do this with responsible management practices and consistent monitoring of each building’s environmental impact.
Our efforts in the recent past have clearly led us to a greener future. We have achieved carbon neutral certification from the Australian government for all seven NABERS-rated buildings in our direct property portfolio.
Not only are we striving to reduce carbon emissions in our own properties, but we aim to take our fight for the environment even further by advocating for all building stock to be net-zero by 2050.
We expect the companies that we invest in to take progressive climate action as well so that we produce net-zero carbon emissions across the board, even through our investment portfolio.
Listen to LGS Head of Property, Scott Armstrong, talk about LGS direct property portfolio and why LGS is one of the companies leading the fight for net-zero emissions across Australia.
Where we choose to invest has consequences. We also know that many of our clients support the net-zero movement. We want to be able to provide green options for all our customers’ investment portfolios, so that we can all feel comfortable knowing that we are investing in the future of our planet. This is why we focus on investing in carbon-neutral companies as well as balancing our portfolio by investing in offsetting projects.
Transitioning to net-zero will help our company become more environmentally friendly and lead us to a brighter future for our planet.
Why LGS stands out
At LGS, all NABERS Rated buildings in our direct property portfolio was the first in all of Australia to be certified as carbon neutral by the Australian Governments Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard. We have been certified carbon neutral since 2019, and we are continuing to move forward from there.
The Local Government Property Fund is even Climate Bond certified, which requires LGS assets to perform in the top 15% of buildings in the market in terms of their emissions intensity.
Additionally, LGS has pledged with the World Green Building Council’s Net-Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, to achieve 2030 and 2050 net-zero emissions goals for the built environment.
At LGS, we believe in going above and beyond the call to action. We think it is imperative to combat climate change immediately, which is why we are one of the companies leading the fight for net-zero emissions across Australia.
Contact us today to learn more.