Nov 16 2022 - Australia

Shaping Real Estate for a Better World: JLL on The Future We Must Create

By The Climate Pledge Team

With its commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, JLL is the first real estate company in the world with a net-zero target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

As part of our content series, The Future We Must Create, we spoke to three signatories based in the Asia-Pacific and worked with local artists to bring their vision of a better future to life. For JLL, a better future is one in which our buildings support the wellbeing of our communities and the natural environment.

The pandemic has not only changed the way communities live, work and interact, it has also shown us how the natural world can deeply impact our economy and livelihoods. Rising temperatures and ocean levels can do the same, if we do not significantly and immediately reduce carbon emissions. The built environment accounts for 40% of total direct and indirect carbon dioxide emissions globally. Many of the world's major cities have imposed requirements that all new buildings are net-zero carbon by 2030 and all buildings are net-zero carbon by 2050. But with approximately 80% of existing building stock expected to still be standing in 2050, meeting this net-zero carbon goal is a monumental challenge for the real estate sector.

With a vision to shape the future of real estate for a better world, JLL joined The Climate Pledge in 2021, committing to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 and becoming the first real estate company in the world with a net-zero target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The company focuses its sustainability program on three key issue areas: climate action for sustainable real estate, healthy spaces for all people, and inclusive places for thriving communities.

JLL supports real estate developers on their net-zero carbon transitions. Some of this work includes:

  • Helping clients achieve 390 sustainable building certificates in 2021 (+30% vs. 2020) 
  • Diverting 65,301 metric tons of carbon dioxide through JLL’s consultation on clients’ renewable energy projects—a three-fold increase in 2021 compared to 2020 
  • Partnering with leading institutions in Australia to improve the sustainability of city landmarks like the ANZ Centre in Melbourne. (The ANZ Centre houses 6,500 people—as many as a small town—within the largest single-tenanted office building in the country.) JLL worked in close collaboration with ANZ to transition the building’s operations to use clean solar power, which will contribute to its 2025 goal of achieving 100% renewable energy for its Australia operations.
Solar rooftop panels on the ANZ Centre
Solar rooftop panels on the ANZ Centre

Across its operations, JLL has committed to an SBTi-approved target to reduce absolute Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 51% by 2030, and 95% by 2040, from a 2018 base year. By the end of 2021, JLL had reduced its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 17% against its 2018 baseline. But more needs to be done, particularly because its Scope 3 goal includes cutting carbon emissions from its corporate supply chain and JLL-managed spaces owned by clients.

Achieving this will require deeper collaboration and cooperation with clients who are increasingly setting their own net-zero carbon commitments. In fact, climate collaboration has become a decisive factor for companies to reach a net-zero future. A 2022 Amazon-commissioned study of 750 APAC business decision-makers, with responsibility for environmental and societal sustainability, found that more than 2 in 3 APAC businesses see collaboration as critical for climate action, yet, the lack of access to cross-sector networks continues to impede cooperation.

This is also why JLL has joined The Climate Pledge (TCP), a commitment to reach net-zero carbon by 2040. Co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019, over 375 signatories across 54 industries and 34 countries have joined the Pledge to-date, actively collaborating on climate action through shared knowledge, policy advocacy, education and industry initiatives, among others. Signatories of The Climate Pledge agree to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis, and implement decarbonization strategies in-line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations. The company also commits to neutralizing any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

Daniel Kernaghan, CEO, JLL Australia and New Zealand
Daniel Kernaghan, CEO, JLL Australia and New Zealand

“ It is critical for the real estate sector to collaborate and respond with urgency in rising to the challenge of the climate crisis. Through The Climate Pledge, we hope to unlock more pathways to a net-zero future with like-minded organizations and real estate developers. ”

Daniel Kernaghan

CEO, JLL Australia and New Zealand

“It is critical for the real estate sector to collaborate and respond with urgency in rising to the challenge of the climate crisis. Through The Climate Pledge, we hope to unlock more pathways to a net-zero carbon future with like-minded organizations and real estate developers,” says Daniel Kernaghan, CEO, JLL Australia and New Zealand. “We will continue collaborating with our partners and clients to shape sustainable growth opportunities, transform through technology, and build strong communities. JLL's purpose remains steadfast now more than ever: We shape the future of real estate for a better world".