Norton Folgate will be net zero embodied carbon at completion and we will continually reduce operational emissions to transition the campus to net zero in operation by 2030.
Net zero simply means that we will not add more greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere than we take out of it. To achieve this, we are first reducing all our emissions as low as possible. The Science Based Target initiative has validated that our reduction targets are ambitious. Our Scope 1 and 2 target aligns with a 1.5°C climate scenario, the most ambitious designation available.
Reducing embodied carbon
Embodied carbon covers all the emissions generated to produce a building, including transport and manufacture. To cut this part of our footprint, we are retaining, reusing and recycling as much as possible, and innovating in design and materials’ use. All our developments have achieved net zero embodied carbon at practical completion since April 2020.
Across Norton Folgate, upfront embodied emissions average 444kg per m2 – 56% lower than industry benchmarks and ahead of our 2030 target. * We are achieving this by refurbishing first wherever possible, carefully restoring Victorian warehouses and heritage features. This includes retaining 1,600m2 of timber floors at Blossom Yard & Studios – the size of more than six tennis courts – and 20% of original walls, floors and roofs at Elder Yard & Studios. Low carbon solutions include 40% cement replacement (GGBS) in concrete mixes.
Reducing operational carbon
Operational carbon encompasses all the emissions from energy used for lighting, heating, cooling and power. We have reduced landlord carbon intensity by 73% across our portfolio since 2009. By 2030, we will cut whole building carbon intensity across our portfolio by 75% versus 2019.
At Norton Folgate, we are using advanced energy modelling and sensitively upgrading building fabric to enhance energy efficiency while preserving heritage. We are also installing high efficiency equipment and incorporating renewables, along with our award-winning smart energy management programme. This will support customers with their own sustainability goals.
We finance energy efficiency improvements at our places through our innovative Transition Vehicle. This is funded by an internal carbon levy set initially at £60 per tonne of embodied carbon in our developments. A portion of this is also used to acquire accredited offsets for embodied emissions we cannot eliminate.
Offsetting residual emissions
Where there are residual embodied emissions we are unable to eliminate, we offset these through certified schemes. We prioritise the use of nature-based offset projects.
* Industry benchmark of 1,000kg of CO2e/m2: World Business Council for Sustainable Development ‘Net Zero Buildings’ (2021).
Over 3,000 sq ft of green roofs across Norton Folgate will promote biodiversity and wellbeing, contributing to growing natural corridors for birds, bees and butterflies in central London.
Biodiversity is not just good for wildlife, people feel better in a healthy, biodiverse environment. We respond positively to that sense of nature doing well. We benefit from experiencing a stronger connection to a changing natural environment.
To enhance this, green roofs across Norton Folgate will be planted with pollinator friendly species, native varieties and wildflowers. We will also add bird boxes for sparrows and swifts, log piles and bat boxes.