Leading the race to a zero carbon future

17 Nov 2021

Lendlease has been leading the fight against climate change since 1973.

Net zero carbon by 2025. Absolute zero carbon by 2040. Lendlease is taking big strides and bold steps to do its part in tackling the defining problem of our generation — climate change.

“Sustainability is not a buzzword; it is our clarion call — our mission since 1973. We have been going against the grain by prioritising sustainability, and we are grateful that with ever increasing focus on sustainability, our work, while no less challenging, is less about the ‘why’ but more about the ‘how’,” says Ms Ng Hsueh Ling, managing director of Lendlease Singapore and chairman of Lendlease Global Commercial REIT.

The pandemic has not only shaken the global economy, but also slowed down the sustainability efforts of companies around the world.

However, Lendlease is moving in the opposite direction.

“Instead of cutting back, we doubled down. We launched our Mission Zero ambitions last year — to live in a world warmed by no more than 1.5 deg C,” says Ms Ng.

“As much as this is our Mission Zero, we hope to rally our investors, peers and partners to come alongside us on this journey,” she adds.

It is not enough for organisations to target direct emissions from sources that they control, and indirect emissions from energy that they generate and consume. This is because most carbon footprint is from indirect emissions that result from activities they do not control, which is why collaboration is imperative.

Lendlease takes a long-term view to environmental and economic sustainability. It has developed climate scenarios up to the year 2050, as part of recommendations from the Taskforce of Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). This underscores the impact that the environment has on business and the transitions organisations must make, and the transformation required.

Lendlease publicly discloses its performance annually under the recommendations of TCFD and it was also the only Property and Construction sector representative on the TCFD Secretariat's Advisory Group for Scenario Planning.

STRONGER TOGETHER

Progress on Lendlease’s Mission Zero is dependent on the successful implementation of sustainability-related initiatives, and partnerships with international bodies, government agencies and industry partners.

“We recognise the importance of collaborating with not only fellow industry players, but also the business community at large. This is why we have joined Race to Zero, a United Nations
initiative to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions and investors for a healthy, resilient zero carbon recovery,” says Ms Ng.

Lendlease is also the first property and infrastructure company to become a full member of Responsible Steel, anorganisation that brings together major steel-using organisations from various sectors for a swift transition to a net zero carbon steel industry.

The production of steel accounts for about 5 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, and has a significant impact on the construction business’ indirect emissions from activities they do not control.

One of Lendlease’s recent collaborations is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with JTC to jointly research and develop a digital platform for Integrated Digital Delivery, to help automate design processes and enable Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) methods in construction projects. DfMA involves designing and manufacturing construction parts in off-site controlled environments before being assembled on-site.

Other collaborations include joining the global supplier of sustainable timber Stora Enso to drive low carbon construction practices, and World Wildlife Fund-Singapore to reduce waste generation and promote circularity in the retail sector.

With the building and construction sector responsible for 39 per cent of all carbon emissions in the world, Lendlease recognises that it can be part of the solution. It has joined hands with other like-minded global industry leaders to build a sustainable future. It is accelerating its efforts — before time runs out for our planet.

MISSION ZERO REOADMAP FOR ASIA

In this roadmap, Lendlease considers the fuels burnt, power consumed, materials and services purchased, as well as tenant emissions at its projects, assets and operations in Asia. It includes initiatives in the near term as well as long term collaborations with its clients, partners, tenants and supply chain to advance towards transformation of the building and construction sector.

1. BURNING OF FUELS

In its shift away from fossil fuels, Lendlease plans to:

  • use battery storage and charging infrastructure,
  • trial alternative onsite fuels (such as using biodiesel),
  • increase the use of electric construction plant and equipment, and
  • reduce dependence on liquid fossil fuels or gas being used onsite in construction and fossil fuel infrastructure in its developments.

At Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ), for instance, electric vehicle charging stations are set up at PLQ Mall, and it promotes low carbon transportation options via its connectivity to public transport and provision of cycling paths and end-of-trip facilities.

2. POWER CONSUMPTION

Lendlease aims to cut indirect emissions from the generation of electricity. It has set targets to increase renewable electricity incrementally to reach 100 per cent of its energy mix by 2030.

It plans to:

  • boost onsite solar generation on its assets,
  • integrate renewable energy infrastructure on new developments, and
  • occupy only high-performance green buildings to raise the quality of workspaces for its employees. All its assets in Singapore have achieved Green Mark Platinum rating.

[email protected], for instance, features initiatives such as rooftop solar panels to produce electricity for the mall ([email protected] won the Solar Pioneer Award under the Economic Development Board’s Solar Capability Scheme), intelligent lighting control systems in common areas, and sleep mode for escalators and gearless lifts when not in use.

3. PURCHASE OF MATERIALS & SERVICES

Lendlease constantly reviews its procurement of materials and services to cut indirect emissions that occur in its value chain. This involves active research and development investments and collaborations with suppliers.

As a founding member of the Singapore Green Building Council’s Embodied Carbon Taskforce that has signed the Embodied Carbon Pledge to Act, it is joining industry peers and partners to reduce upfront emissions from the manufacture of building materials.

The production of cement and concrete is energy intensive and emits excessive carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. During the construction of Jem, less cement was used and washed copper slag made from recycled materials was utilised.

4. TENANT EMISSIONS

Lendlease is also helping its tenants to do their part for sustainability. It is developing next generation green leases that will reap benefits for both parties in reaching sustainability targets in areas such as energy efficiency measures, waste management and water efficiency.

In fact, 100 per cent of Lendlease mall tenants in Singapore are on green leases. It aims to have all its tenants in Asia powered by renewable electricity and ensure net zero carbon investment plans in place for future acquisitions by 2040.

At Parkway Parade, new and renewing tenants are encouraged to use energy-efficient equipment within the tenanted areas. The mall’s other green features include a rainwater harvesting system, energy efficient LED lights, and a food waste digester to convert waste from food and beverage outlets into sludge and water to be reused.

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Source: The Business Times © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.