Emira moves closer to its sustainability target
Emira Property Fund, which recently became the first company in Africa to have its carbon reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), is continuing its positive impacts in environmental sustainability by increasing its use of renewable energy resources, expanding its water efficiency initiatives and phasing out the use of ozone depleting R-22 refrigerant gas
The leading SA REIT has undertaken numerous sustainability projects to improve the performance and resilience of its properties, all while lowering operating costs for its tenants, preventing waste and reducing its carbon footprint. “Science-based targets provide companies with a clearly defined pathway to future-proof growth by specifying how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. We are taking confident strides on our sustainability journey and remain committed to meeting our ambitious targets,” confirms Emira Property Fund CEO Geoff Jennett.
The Paris Agreement in 2015 saw 195 countries commit to preventing dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below two degrees Celsius. This signalled an acceleration in the transition to a low carbon economy. Emissions reduction targets ensure the transformational action taken by companies is aligned with current climate science.
Targets adopted by companies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are considered ‘science-based” ifthey are in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global temperature increase below 2° Ccompar ed to pre-industrial temperatures, as per the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC ARS).
Emira’s science-based targets are to reduce absolute scope one and to GHG emissions 13% by 2022 from a 2015 base year, and it is well on target to achieve the pledged reductions. The following changes were made:
- Installation of its fourth solar Photovoltaics (PV) farm was approved
- The 1.2MWp rooftopsolar farm at Wonderpark Shopping Centre went live in March 2019.
- Solar power generation was installed at its Epsom Downs Shopping Centre, Randridge Mall and Mitchells Plain Shopping Centre.
- Its fifth solar PV installation at Boskruin Village Shopping Centre has also been approved.
- Work on the 606kWp system starts in January and is set for completion before mid-year.
- Emira is also exploring solar power installation for its Ben Fleur Shopping Centre.
Emira’s installed and planned PV farms, which will deliver a saving of 6.763MWh a year. This removes 6.4721of Carbon emissions annually. Overall, Emira’s four major water efficiency projects, are saving an estimated 21.6 million litres of drinking water yearly. It is also investigating three more water-saving initiatives. Emira’s R-22 refrigerant gas replacement programme is on track for completion in line with set targets by December 2020. The REIT has undertaken to have all air conditioning systems at its buildings replaced with more energy-efficient inverter-type technology units that use a more ozone-friendly refrigerant gas.
The REIT also completed a major heating, ventilation and air conditioning replacement project at its Southern Centrum Shopping Centre in Bloemfontein. The centre’s aging aircon plant was replaced with a new system that is expected to produce significant electricity savings for tenants. Emira has embraced environmental sustainability as part of their operations because it makes long term business sense as well as being good for their planet.
Emira is a medium-cap diversified REIT that is invested in a quality, balanced portfolio of office, retail, industrial and residential properties. Its directly held assets at 31 December 2018, comprise 104 properties valued at R12.5 billion and indirectly 22 shopping centres valued at R1.04 billion through its exposure to Enyuka Property Fund. It also has a 34.9% holding in JSE AltX-listed Transcend Residential Property Fund.
Emira is internationally diversified through its investment in ASX-listed Growthpoint Properties Australia (GOZ) valued at R941 million, and its equity investments in six grocery anchored open-air convenience shopping centres with a combined value of $50 million through its USA subsidiary