We want our company and our industry to move forwards, so our ambition is to work with circular solutions, particularly when purchasing materials and working with the waste disposal chain with our suppliers. These circular solutions will play an important role in continually reducing our climate impact in both our project and management work. The climate goal is closely linked to the EU Taxonomy.
As the construction and property industry accounts for a significant proportion of Sweden’s emissions in terms of energy, materials and waste, it is important for us to do what we can to contribute to moving this work forwards. Atrium Ljungberg’s ambition is to reduce environmental impact – both our own and our customers’ – and to streamline resource utilisation. Important areas for us to work on include lowering our energy consumption, reducing the climate impact of our transport and choosing materials that benefit the environment, taking into consideration circularity and waste reduction. This will allow us to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and counter climate change.
Our climate goal has four main targets for areas that have the greatest impact on Atrium Ljungberg’s emissions. Although there are other areas under these four targets that we will work on, the focus is going to be on the areas below. Each target has two focus areas to ensure that we can make the most of opportunities and manage any risks.
- Energy: reduce energy consumption; increase the proportion of fossil-free energy that we generate ourselves
- Materials: reduce the climate impact from our materials; increase circular flows
- Waste: prevent waste; increase the proportion of sorted materials
- Transport: streamline the number of transports; increase the number of fossil-free transports
Reduced energy consumption
Between 2014 and 2021 we reduced the total energy consumption of our properties by 26 per cent per square metre. Energy consumption has a significant impact on the climate, which is why we need to reduce it. We will achieve this initially by implementing energy efficiency measures in our management work, but also by aiming to make our new builds into ‘zero energy buildings’.
Electricity is responsible for most of the energy consumption by our customers and ourselves. Normally we provide our tenants with electricity and charge them based on the amount they actually use. We buy hydroelectricity with guarantees of origin, certified with the Gold standard. We also have our own solar power installations to increase the proportion of renewable electricity. At the moment we have solar power installations in Gränbystaden, Sickla and Malmö. We have a total of 14,300 m2 of solar cells, where we can produce approximately 2,300 megawatt hours a year.
Most of our purchases that have a climate impact are outsourced materials for both our project and management work, including for maintenance and tenant adaptations. The lifecycle analyses in our most recent projects show that these materials account for almost 80% of our climate impact. We therefore need to choose materials in our projects that benefit the climate and enable us to reduce emissions. There are significant gains to be made if we can work with reused and recycled materials. When working with large building elements, it is important for us to work with renewable and fossil-free options. This also gives us an incentive to be much more aware of, and efficient in, the way we use existing materials and resources. We need to reuse them as far as possible, for example when making tenant adaptations. It is also important for us to cooperate with our suppliers to increase the circular material flows.
Our work on waste mostly involves preventing large amounts of waste in our construction projects, new builds and tenant adaptations. However, it also includes increasing recycling rates at our construction sites, at our tenants’ premises and at our retail hubs. To achieve this we need to work not only with our waste contractors but also with the contractors in our construction projects. We need to work more actively with our current guidelines, linking them to our different activities. Our target is to reduce unsorted waste by 80% per square metre of floor space by the year 2025.
Business trips and vehicles that we own or hire only account for a small proportion of our emissions. We report more Scope 3 emissions from transport for our construction projects, as well as all passenger transport for people who live, work or visit our sites. There is great potential to reduce emissions in these areas. We can set requirements for vehicles and fuel in our projects and actively try to find solutions to streamline transport. In terms of our visitors and our tenants’ employees, our focus will be on offering and actively communicating good alternatives, for example, public transport, charging facilities, cycle links, etc.
Environmental certification – the road to sustainable buildings
Environmental certifications of buildings represent an important tool for ensuring that our properties are sustainable and reduce their environmental impact. They set out clear requirements for various sustainability aspects and the evidence is examined by a third party. These certifications also help to make the environmental performance of properties comparable, and easier to communicate to tenants.
We certify our commercial new builds in accordance with BREEAM, existing buildings in accordance with BREEAM In-Use and newly built residential buildings in accordance with Miljöbyggnad. When we certify our new builds in accordance with BREEAM, our goal is to achieve a minimum rating of ‘Very Good’. When we certify buildings in accordance with Miljöbyggnad, our goal is to achieve at least a ‘Silver’ rating.
We also use the Swedish Building Materials Assessment when purchasing building materials in order to minimise our environmental impact and our use of hazardous substances when carrying out construction work. The Swedish Building Materials Assessment is a digital log book with environmentally assessed building products. This system also helps us follow the UN’s Precautionary Principle.
Cooperation with our customers
Tenants are becoming increasingly interested in contributing to sustainable solutions and efficiency measures. Atrium Ljungberg’s green lease contracts are an example of the collaboration between property owner and tenants, enabling us to work together to reduce the environmental impact of the properties in terms of energy, materials and waste, for example. These contracts also cover the indoor environment, which is important for the health of our tenants. At the end of the 2021, 59 per cent of contracted annual rent was covered by green rental contracts.
The green lease contracts are a step in the work we are doing together to promote resource efficiency and to help achieve every company’s goals. Our customers can monitor their own energy consumption in our customer portal, ‘Servicenter’, which includes benchmark figures that they can use for comparison. We are working together to identify more potential efficiency measures in the premises.