From backstage to centre stage: why energy efficiency and smart technology are real estate's star performers
London is already a leading cultural light, but deep inside Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House there’s a spectacular but unseen performance that should have us applauding its environmental leadership too. What drives it is collaboration. And, as a company well on its way to meeting its own climate commitments, that also helps organisations like the Royal Opera House achieve their own green goals, we know what good looks like and how to make it happen.
The past few years have seen commitments from many businesses and governments to set stretching goals, which enhance their ESG strategies and deliver on the urgent need for action to drive change. At JLL, our sustainability framework forms the key driver for our own actions, recognising that economic, social and environmental value can be realised by putting carbon, climate change and health and wellbeing at the centre of real estate strategies, and so achieving a ‘return on sustainability’.
JLL is among a handful of global companies with a net zero carbon target certified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and have also signed The Climate Pledge – a commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040 across all areas of our operations. This includes the sites (offices, shopping centres, warehouses, etc) we manage for clients globally, our corporate supply chain and operational activities. This is where collaboration comes in – it’s essential to identify common goals, bring resources together to achieve these goals, and secure accurate data, to help our clients establish and achieve their own carbon mitigation objectives.
One way we are doing this is through Integral, our UK engineering business, who work with our Technology arm to deploy disruptive digital platforms that can analyse data and make changes to a building in real time. By better understanding what happens beneath the surface, or behind the curtain, to improve energy efficiency and optimise asset performance in their buildings, we can support businesses on their journey to net zero. And that’s what’s happening at the Royal Opera House. Smart green technology has been used to provide smart, data-driven insights as part of the electrical and energy maintenance at the home to the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet – managing lighting that generates a lot of heat and cooling equipment that can cause condensation in the iconic Grade I and II listed building.
And it goes beyond bricks and mortar: sustainability was at the forefront of the procurement process for an Integral PPE supplier, with the chosen partner offering a recycling option for all existing and new workwear. The circular concept for this clothing perfectly fits in with our sustainable aims to: Purchase, Use, Dispose, Recycle, Repeat.
Collaboration also extends to our people – our ambition is to fully embed sustainability across our business, encouraging responsible behaviours in all our employees. We have integrated dedicated sustainability experts across JLL, as well as growing our team of over 100 professionals and upskilling colleagues through our sustainability training platform.
If 2021 was the year to make stretching carbon commitments, 2022 is the year to turn those commitments into actions. There are many challenges still to overcome, but we know that collaboration will ensure we all succeed.