CREATING A LOW CARBON FUTURE
At QuadReal, we create places for our tenants, residents and guests to thrive and be healthy and productive. To that end, we identify and proactively manage an array of risks. The risks presented by climate change are growing. The increasing severity and frequency of hurricanes, extreme precipitation, heat waves, forest fires and coastal flooding are just some of ways climate change impacts our business. Our long-term sustainability goals are rooted in sector-specific science-based targets. Certification and high benchmarking performance are signals of excellence but not our main objective. The following examples illustrate the four main ways we aim to achieve our targets and work with our real estate peers in creating a low-carbon future.
VANCOUVER, BC. — RETAIL
LOW CARBON DEVELOPMENTS
We were deliberate and thoughtful in identifying ways to minimize the annual carbon footprint when planning the redevelopment of Oakridge Shopping Centre. Instead of asking the incremental question, “What modifications could reduce our emissions?” we challenged our architects and designers from the outset to achieve progressive energy and carbon targets. As a result of this process, Oakridge Shopping Centre will host one of the largest geothermal systems in Canada and every building on the site will be built with energy-efficient envelopes. Additionally, the site design will take full advantage of Oakridge’s proximity to a large public transportation hub.
TORONTO, ON. — OFFICE
200 KING STREET, TORONTO
The largest proportion of our annual carbon footprint comes from energy use in our office portfolio. We methodically identify and implement energy efficiency measures in all our buildings. Over time these improvements add up, resulting in lower carbon emissions and operating costs for our tenants. At 200 King Street there have been over 30 energy efficiency upgrades since 2011 resulting in a 35% reduction in the building’s carbon footprint.
VANCOUVER, BC. – OFFICE
RENEWABLE ENERGY AND FUEL SWITCHING
The roofs of most high-rise buildings are not currently suitable for solar panels. They are often too small, and most of the rooftop is needed for core building and maintenance functions. This is why we decided to take a different approach. In regions with carbon-intensive grid electricity, such as Calgary, our priority is to purchase electricity that comes from renewable sources. In regions with low-carbon electricity generation, such as Vancouver, we focus on reducing the use of natural gas for heating. We also recapture waste heat or use electric-powered heat pumps to replace natural gas boilers. In keeping with this strategy, Park Place recently incorporated a new heat recovery system, reducing its carbon emissions by 80%, water consumption by 64% and operating costs by over $100,000 per year. This property, built in the mid-1980’s, is an example of how older buildings can keep up with new construction.
Read more about how this QuadReal building is reducing its carbon footprint in this case study here.
TENANT, RESIDENT AND PEER ENGAGEMENT
Much of the impact of our business lies in how we build our buildings and how our tenants and residents live and work within them. Accordingly, we actively encourage our suppliers, tenants and peers to adopt sustainable behaviours and practices. Our Tenant and Resident Engagement Program is a communications campaign with monthly themed posters, quarterly newsletters and property events across the country that create awareness around sustainability issues. Office tenants have access to an internal platform, RealSuiteData, where they can see their year-over-year usage data in real time.
Our Responsible Contractor Code of Conduct and Ethics sets the foundation for selecting suppliers who are aligned with our commitment to excellence, entrepreneurship and sustainability. We acknowledge the privilege of managing a world-class real estate portfolio and we accept the accompanying responsibility of working towards a more sustainable future.