A Better World Is a Net Zero World

A Better World Is a Net Zero World

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 6:00am

CONTENT: Article

JLL’s purpose is to shape the future of real estate for a better world. This isn’t a new purpose for JLL - for over 250 years the firm has been at the heart of real estate bringing diverse thinking and perspectives to investors and businesses worldwide.

But over the last 18 months JLL has delved deeper into the various dimensions of that statement. The pandemic has resulted in a top-to-bottom evaluation of JLL’s role, as a leading real estate and investment management services firm, in contributing to the future of health. But with the built environment accounting for approximately 38% of global energy consumption and 40% of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions, JLL recognises that addressing climate change was fundamental to our purpose. For JLL – and the title of its new  Global Sustainability Report 2020 – a better world is a net zero world.

Hence, in May 2021, JLL took the bold step of committing to net zero carbon by 2040 across all areas of its operations, as well as all the sites it manages for clients, and its own extensive global corporate supply chain. JLL will deliver against that goal with no more than 5% offsets, fully abating 95% of its 2018 baseline GHG emissions. With over 95% of JLL’s emissions coming from client portfolios, key to JLL’s net zero trajectory is helping clients with their decarbonization journey.

Commenting on the firm’s approach to achieving net zero at the report’s launch, JLL CEO Christian Ulbrich said, “Our sustainability report shows great progress on our journey to net zero. As a core strategic priority, we are embedding and growing sustainability products and services across all our business lines, consistent with JLL’s purpose of shaping the future of real estate for a better world.”

But while 2021 is all about the road to net zero and JLL’s efforts on achieving this, the firm’s sustainability program is not exclusively about carbon. “As our 2020 report demonstrates, we have made significant progress against our targets and we have set new ambitious targets, in part responding to the impact of the pandemic, across all of the ESG metrics,” said Richard Batten, JLL’s Global Chief Sustainability Officer.

Due to the pandemic, JLL accelerated the timeline of its materiality review to December 2020 from late 2021. The report details how diversity and inclusion has emerged as the top priority for JLL internal and external stakeholders. Other top issues included: ethics and compliance, corporate culture and reputation, innovation and technology, energy and climate, employee engagement and satisfaction, and adaptation and resilience.

In 2019, JLL adopted the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations to understand climate risks impacting the organization. The 2020 report provides a qualitative assessment focused on direct physical climate risk to eight of JLL’s leased headquarter offices. In the next phase, JLL will continue to stress test the building and market resilience of its own operations, evaluate the implications for clients and also expand its scope to review the wider impacts on society, markets, and the firm’s people.

JLL is also continuing to use the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to guide and refine its sustainability strategy. JLL established four new approaches in 2020, including through a new goal, to align 75% of community activities to JLL’s priority SDGs (by the end of 2022).

2020 performance highlights include:

  • 295 sustainable building certifications for clients
  • 20,629 metric tons CO2e averted by advising on renewable energy projects
  • 35% of the global workforce are women
  • One of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute, 14th successive year
  • 79 JLL offices with sustainable building certifications
  • 23.7% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions across JLL’s own real estate and fleet, compared with 2018 baseline
  • 77% reduction in emissions from business travel, compared to 2019
  • All-time low for employee accident rates, a 44% Lost Time Injury Rate reduction from 2018
  • $7.7 million and 7,959 days of employee time contributed to community causes

In parallel, with releasing its Global Sustainability Report, JLL also unveiled the findings of Responsible Real Estate – Decarbonizing the Built Environment research study. This shows the real estate industry has accelerated its focus on responsibility and social purpose, with occupiers and investors making strong commitments to decarbonize and build back better for the future. For JLL, a better world is a net zero world.

Read the Report