German property group announced on Monday that it aims to cut carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 for its entire portfolio of European office properties.
This measure would result in an estimated reduction of 61,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. In setting this goal, DWS said that it 'is furthering its decade-long leadership on the topic of climate change and its continued support of the regional commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement'.
DWS’s goal is to reduce its carbon emissions intensity (defined as carbon emissions per square metres) by 50% against the reference year 2017.
DWS plans to achieve this goal by investing in energy efficiency to optimise the performance of its properties and increasing its engagement with tenants on energy saving strategies. It will also expand the utilisation of renewable energy through onsite installations, e.g. solar panels, and the procurement of renewable energy contracts.
'As stewards of our local communities, we are committed to combatting climate change through real estate, a sector which, along with construction, contributes to nearly 40% of global emissions,' said Clemens Schäfer, head of Real Estate, Europe, at DWS. 'By setting a goal to reduce carbon in our portfolio, we can measure, manage and track progress on this commitment. Not only will this process help us to enhance the efficiency of office properties, but we expect these targets to impact positively on the return for our investors, by reducing operating costs, and providing more attractive, quality buildings to tenants and investors alike.'
The carbon reduction goal fits into DWS’s broader Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy within its real estate business, which strives for better risk adjusted returns through measures that mitigate environmental risk, increase building performance, reduce expenses, and deliver high quality spaces for tenants.
In the future DWS is considering plans to expand its targets to other real estate sectors and regions.
'The announced commitment underlines DWS’s ambition to be a leader in the ESG market,' said Asoka Woehrmann, CEO at DWS. 'We are constantly stepping up our efforts to put sustainability at the core of what we do. For us, responsibility is part of our license to operate as a fiduciary for our investors.'