Copenhagen-based real estate investor NREP has designed the first logistics facility to reach net zero across operational and embodied carbon without external offsetting.
The building is the first of three projects launched by NREP – the second being a residential development and the third an office retrofit – that will act as “learning labs” to help NREP reach its target of becoming 100 percent carbon neutral by 2028, without external offsets.
Embodied carbon has been designed out from each element of a 20,000 sqm Swedish facility using solutions such as low-carbon materials, organic insulation and green cement. Carbon neutrality will be achieved during the building’s operational phase with the potential for the warehouse to become energy positive, using bespoke solar, heat pump and battery storage solutions, the firm said.
This is the latest project in a series of sustainability initiatives that NREP has pioneered, including the use of carbon neutral geothermal heating, the world’s first 100 percent upcycled concrete building and ‘UN17 Village’, the first large-scale project to align with all of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Claus Mathisen, CEO of NREP, believes the Swedish warehouse will be a “test bed” for emerging solutions in carbon-neutral real estate, while demonstrating that doing the right thing is also good for business: “A property like this one will attract better financing and more customers.”
NREP announced earlier this year its aim to reach net-neutrality goal by 2028. By making such a bold pledge (most investors have committed to be carbon neutral by 2050) NREP hopes to demonstrate to the market how a faster pace of change can be achieved. “We’re not doing this to beat the guy next door, we’re doing it to prove it is possible and to fuel a demand-driven change in the real estate value chain,” Mathisen told affiliate title PERE earlier this year.
The latest step towards reaching this goal has seen NREP commit to reducing embodied and operational carbon emissions by 30 percent and 50 percent respectively before the end of 2023. To achieve this, the firm has introduced a new internal carbon tax that will put a monetary figure on the cost of carbon to the business. “The tax is introduced alongside a green incentive to financially motivate project teams to implement sustainability efforts,” the firm wrote in a statement.