AREIT Inc. (AREIT), the pioneer real estate investment trust in the Philippines, is moving towards net zero operational emissions and is on track to be the country’s first carbon neutral REIT.
In a statement, AREIT underscored its commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles through sustainability programs that create the most benefit to the community and support its path towards carbon neutrality and net zero emissions.
AREIT is so far on track towards neutralizing its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by the end of the year, while moving towards Scope 3 and net zero emissions from operations of its existing buildings by the end of 2022.
Scope 1 emissions are greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions coming from the use of fuel such as those in generators and vehicles.
Scope 2 refers to emissions coming from electricity consumption in common areas controlled by AREIT, while Scope 3 refers to other emissions from AREIT’s value chain.
For AREIT’s building operations, this refers to electricity consumption by its locators.
“As a sustainable REIT, we believe that moving towards net zero carbon operational emissions is the most impactful environmental initiative we can undertake,” said AREIT President and CEO Carol T. Mills.
She added that, “By using renewable energy in our buildings, we not only achieve AREIT’s ESG objectives, but also enable our building locators, many of whom are top multinational corporations, to achieve their own ESG standards.”
AREIT’s buildings, Solaris One, Ayala North Exchange and McKinley Exchange, all located in Makati, and The 30th Corporate Center in Pasig, have converted from using coal to renewable energy sources.
The company expects to reduce 80 percent of its 10,000 tCO2e (tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) business-as-usual emissions through the use of renewable energy, while the remaining 20 percent will be offset through Ayala Land’s carbon forests.
AREIT implements its ESG strategies across all its managed properties based on the four sustainability focus areas of its sponsor, Ayala Land: 1) site resiliency through responsible green masterplanning, 2) pedestrian mobility by enhancing transit connectivity and the commuter experience, 3) resource efficiency by minimizing energy waste and environmental footprint, and 4) local economic development through the economic value generated by its business and its locators.
To promote site resilience, AREIT’s properties were developed to allocate open and green spaces to provide a healthy environment for the community, as well as a place for safety or refuge in the event of emergencies.
Aside from this, the properties feature District Cooling Systems (DCS) which helps decrease electricity consumption by 20 percent to 35 percent compared to regular cooling systems.
Many of AREIT’s buildings are also Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified, such as the Teleperformance building in Cebu, One Evotech in Nuvali and Vertis Corporate Center in Quezon City.
As part of its resource efficiency initiatives, the company reduced its carbon emissions continuously through significant shifts to renewable energy, and by allotting compensation for fuel consumption through ALI’s carbon forest stock.
Its measured electricity intensity for its buildings in 2020 has improved to 125.48 kWh/sqm, which is much lower than the ASEAN benchmark of 160 kWh/sqm.