Sustainability has many dimensions, including social responsibility, protecting our environment, providing a safe and attractive workplace and maintaining a sustainable value chain. Thinking and acting sustainably is a core part of our business, covering everything from our long-term approach to real estate investments and the way we use our resources as efficiently as possible to our focus on people, sustainability and climate issues. As is our ambition to participate in and contribute to sustainable development and to inspire and contribute to the local communities in which we operate. We believe in long term value creation and work therefore in accordance with the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainability Development Goals.
In 2019, Heimstaden joined the UN Global Compact's corporate social responsibility initiative and committed to following its ten principles in the areas of human rights, working conditions, the environment and anti-corruption.
Our environmental and climate goals
Fossil fuel-free operations by 2030
100% renewable electricity in all countries in which Heimstaden is active by 2021
Fossil-independent vehicle fleet by 2025
At least 1% reduced water use/sqm annually until 2030
Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 42% from 2020 to 2030 (scope 1, 2 and 3 in tenants' energy use)
Reduce the amount of purchased energy/sqm by 2% annually until 2025
Set requirement for suppliers, which cover 70% of scope 3 emissions, to set science-based goals by 2025
Ecosystem services must be evaluated for all new production and major projects and the same amount of ecosystem services or more must be recreated
New builds must be certified to least Miljöbyggnad Silver or similar
New builds must be able to produce renewable energy
Energy efficient properties
In several respects, Heimstaden is at the forefront of sustainability, but we are open to the fact that there is more to be done to fully address and manage the climate challenges. The real estate sector accounts for around 40 percent of the total energy use in the EU and 36 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing the climate footprint is the only way forward and the fight against climate change is one of Heimstaden’s most important priorities.
As a European residential real estate company, we support the EU’s goal of being climate neutral by 2050, and locally we are aiming for even tougher goals. To ensure that our climate ambitions are sufficient and in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, we have joined the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), which is a third-party reviewer.
We have set ourselves the goal of reducing our energy consumption by 2 percent every year until 2025 (in a comparable property portfolio), primarily by making our properties more energy efficient. We believe we can achieve this either by reducing our energy consumption while maintaining the value we currently offer our tenants or by creating more value for our tenants without increasing our energy consumption. Measures include increasing our use of modern and cost-effective technology, for example, installing smart control systems, technical measures to reduce heat loss and additional requirements for new builds. At Group level, we are also installing solar panels on new builds wherever possible.
Water is a vital resource and even if there is no water shortage in the countries in which Heimstaden operates, it is a resource that must be treated carefully and with respect.
In property development projects, we have increased our focus on water efficiency and have set a water saving target to reduce our water consumption by 1 percent per square meter and year until 2030 (in the corresponding portfolio).
Together we can make a difference
Waste is mainly generated due to new construction, remodelling, renovation projects and property management, but also by our tenants. By helping our tentants to become more aware and enabling them to make more conscious choices, we will be able to reduce our combined material consumption and increase reuse and recycling.
Reducing our combined waste will help our planet. We can achieve this by re-thinking what we are consuming and reusing what we already have. There are recylcing stations within, or directly adjacent to, each of our properties making it easier for our tenants to make a difference for the environment.