Cbus commits to zero emissions for property portfolio
Cbus, Australia’s leading building and construction industry super fund, has set a target for all its property holdings to be net zero emissions by 2030 in a landmark move announced in San Francisco today.
Cbus Chief Investment Officer Kristian Fok laid out a roadmap to achieving the milestone at the Global Climate Action Summit to an audience of global policy makers and leaders in climate change.
Mr Fok told the conference the significant emissions reduction plan will give Cbus a competitive advantage for tenants and funding.
“This is a commercial decision that reflects Cbus’ values as a responsible investor,” Mr Fok said.
“Cbus members build Australia’s cities and we will make sure that they are part of building a resilient climate future.”
Cbus currently holds around $A5 billion of property through its flagship Cbus Property subsidiary and property fund managers such as ISPT and AMP. Conservative estimates suggest the Fund could hold more than $A10 billion in property by 2030.
Mr Fok told the conference that property fund managers will be given until 2020 to outline their roadmaps for net zero emissions holdings targeting 2030.
“The world needs to keep warming below 2 degrees and we have an obligation to future proof our investments to support our members retirement.” Mr Fok said.
“And we have crossed the line where our obligation has become a commercial imperative.
“We know that the commercial market is looking for high-tech, low emissions tenancies. What’s more, we can access cheaper finance from lenders who view high-quality building projects as low-risk assets.”
Mr Fok said that designing buildings with new technologies in mind will be key to reducing emissions over a building’s life-cycle.
“This is beyond just installing roof top solar panels,” Mr Fok said.
“Operable facades that both insulate and produce energy are the future. Buildings must be ready to adapt to these changes.
“Smart systems for climate control are improving every year and are an exciting area of energy efficiency.
“The economics of it are coming together very quickly and creating opportunities to future proof our portfolio, support jobs for our members, and provide a Just Transition to a low-carbon future.
“We are now seeing global opportunities to take what we have learnt locally and apply technical innovation at scale.
“While Australia is locked in a policy quagmire on climate action, the world is moving on and this makes sound investment and economic sense.
“Strong and stable policy is needed to supercharge the changes underway.
“The market isn’t interested in culture wars, it is focused on action.”
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