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Environmental Management

Emira’s history of environmental stewardship and disclosure dates back to 2011, when the Company submitted its first CDP submission on its FY2010 carbon emissions. Emira has completed its 13th submission for FY2023.

To overcome the early challenge of improving Emira’s data confidence, smart electrical meters were rolled out across the portfolio with the support of the Fund’s property managers and specialist metering companies, which helped to gain a better understanding of electrical consumptions.

A programme was then developed to prioritise interventions, ranging from tariff structures, lighting and air conditioning unit upgrades, to more costly improvements such as electrical switchgear, lifts and escalators, and centralised heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (“HVAC”) systems.

Emira’s strategy in this regard reached its peak in 2013 with the introduction of renewable energy at certain properties. Through milestones of the Paris Agreement, and Emira becoming the first company in Africa to have science-based carbon reduction targets recognised via the Science Based Targets Initiative (“SBTi”), sustainability has become embedded in the Fund’s ethos and the way it operates.

Smart metering, LED technology, water conservation and harvesting, as well as photovoltaic (“PV”) farms and energy security are now considered the new normal. As the Fund evolves its sustainability journey beyond Net-Zero, which focuses on energy, water and carbon goals, it recognises the importance of reversing the effects of climate change on a global scale, the effects of which are clearly evident in its daily business operations.

The Company has developed an internal business resilience scorecard for each of its core properties in the directly held South African portfolio. The scorecard measures each asset’s risks and mitigation strategies, including energy consumption and production, water efficiency and harvesting initiatives and the impact on local biodiversity.

Emira’s approach goes beyond merely reducing CO2 emissions, and factors in the unique challenges facing businesses in South Africa. These include back-up energy and water systems, waste diversion from landfill rates as well as the final phasing out of systems that utilise refrigerant gases with a high ozone depleting potential (“ODP”). Each property’s risk and mitigation score is then measured against its income producing contribution to shareholder distributions.

This method helps to highlight key areas of risk and levels of priority, and measures progress against an internal cost of carbon. While following the Emira Way in its unique approach, the Company appreciates that to benchmark itself against local and global peers, it needs to adopt the principles and guidelines of the UN SDGs and the GRESB reporting frameworks as a basis of its ESG strategy.