Vicinity Centres (Vicinity) today announced a Net Zero carbon target for its 34 wholly-owned shopping centres, to be reached through a combination of its industry-leading solar program and energy efficiencies by 2030.
The new carbon target comes as stage two of Vicinity’s $73 million solar investment program, announced in 2018, nears completion with renewable energy systems being installed across 22 shopping centres in six states.
Grant Kelley, CEO and Managing Director, Vicinity Centres said 12 rooftop solar energy systems had already been switched on, and delivered more than 5,000MWh – enough clean energy to power 850 Australian homes for a year.
“Our 2030 Net Zero carbon target will now become the centrepiece of our commitment to long-term sustainability. As Australia’s second largest retail property company, we recognise the role Vicinity plays in transitioning to a low-carbon economy, and that’s why our sustainability strategy is focused on delivering outcomes that are good for our business, the community and the environment,” Kelley said.
“We’re proud that Vicinity is currently the third most sustainable REIT in the world, according to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. While we know there is more to do, we see our new carbon target as an opportunity to further strengthen our sustainability credentials.” he continued
“We know our customers, communities and investors expect us to have a robust and considered plan to reduce our environmental impact, while driving efficiencies that make long term business sense,” Kelley said.
Chief Strategy Officer Justin Mills said Vicinity had undertaken a portfolio-wide review of its energy consumption, which had seen innovation and improvements in lighting, air-conditioning and optimising building performance.
“Since June 2016, Vicinity’s energy efficiency program has reduced carbon emissions by 14%” Mills said.
“Our Net Zero carbon target focuses on our wholly-owned centres but we’re also working closely with our co-owners and retailers to drive efficiencies and deliver shared value for our communities and the environment.” Mills said
Recently the group instigated a global-first trial of a clear solar glass structure, another sustainability initiative that cements their commitment to their strategy.
The Net Zero carbon target is a key component of Vicinity’s sustainability strategy which focuses on shaping better communities, creating sustainable destinations of the future, and building climate resilience across the portfolio; and it aligns to Australia’s commitments under The Paris Agreement.