Business Climate Guidance Case Study: Derwent London

How Derwent London targeted net zero emissions for managed buildings

Targeting net zero emissions for buildings under management by focusing on electricity consumption, renewable energy, and new approaches to building/retrofit.

Derwent

Derwent London is committed to driving the transformation of the built environment to achieve a climate-safe future. To achieve this, Derwent London is consistently looking to step up its climate commitments. In 2020 Derwent London committed to be a net zero carbon business by 2030, bringing forward its previous target by 20 years. In June 2020, Derwent London launched its Net Zero Carbon Pathway setting out in detail how it expects to get there. This includes the objective to achieve net zero emissions from its managed properties.

An important way to achieve net zero is to make the managed buildings all-electric. This includes new projects as well as existing assets where practical. 80 Charlotte Street, completed in 2020, is Derwent London’s first all-electric new development complete with air source heat pumps and solar thermal panels which further reduce the building’s requirement for grid electricity. Targets now exist for all new-builds and refurbishments to reach energy objectives. That means every new building must achieve an energy rating of A, and major refurbishments an energy rating of B.

Read more about Derwent London’s Net Zero Carbon Pathway on their website.

Key drivers:

  • Environment: reduce the c.40% of carbon emissions produced by the built environment; Derwent London wants to lead with its own work, support its stakeholders’ ambitions and to encourage change
  • Occupiers: are increasingly focused on the environmental impacts of their buildings
  • Shareholders: investors positively support Derwent London’s actions
  • Reputation: the best buildings need to be environmentally friendly
  • Legislation: Derwent London actively supports initiatives to reach the UK’s climate change targets

Challenges:

  • Behavioural change: to achieve net zero will require increased collaboration from all stakeholders and for many this will be a change from past practices.
  • Technology: major developments can take a long time between design and planning and starting on site. During this time, the best climate change technology could have changed significantly. Planning and design changes can increase risks and costs.

Benefits:

  • Environment: If it achieves its objectives Derwent London will have contributed to a better environment
  • Stakeholders: Derwent London can remain at the forefront of office market trends
  • Value: Derwent London believes that “green” buildings will outperform “brown” ones.

Read the Construction framework

Related Resources