Landlords and tenants in commercial buildings should work more closely together to accelerate the shift to a clean energy future, a new report by edie and Big Clean Switch finds.
Produced in association with RE100, the global corporate leadership initiative on renewable power led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, the report reveals that while the vast majority of UK businesses surveyed are committed to rolling out renewables across their operations, four in five find it difficult to do so in tenanted properties.
Challenges include problems getting accurate energy data use from landlords (88%), and only a small number of companies knowing who to contact at their landlords about clean energy solutions (5%).
Around a third of respondents said they had not actively approached landlords about making a switch to renewable energy, with 69% saying they find it challenging to know who to speak to about energy issues – demonstrating the need for collaboration and action on both sides.
“Our RE100 members are powering ahead on renewable energy, but we’re not going fast enough – buildings still account for almost half of the UK’s carbon emissions,” said Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group.
“This report shows there’s huge potential for landlords and tenants to work together more collaboratively on the switch to renewables, unlocking new business opportunities in the growing clean economy.”
Showing the way
Landsec and PWC are RE100 members featured within the report as companies leading by example.
Caroline Hill, Head of Sustainability, Public Affairs, Health, Safety and Security, Landsec, said, “Switching to clean energy should undoubtedly be a priority for landlords and occupiers alike. The benefits of getting this right are clear, and there’s a ripple effect of sustainable practices, too.
“At Landsec, our corporate energy contract – which covers nearly all of our portfolio – is 100% renewable electricity. This has enabled us to speak to customers further about their sustainable ambitions and has meant that we’ve been able to work with them on issues from single-use plastics to energy saving projects.
“Conversations, and collaboration, must sit at the heart of our work as we join together as a sector to empower each other to make a difference.”
The report makes three recommendations. First, that tenants be much more proactive in communicating their needs to landlords. Second, landlords and managing agents put in place systems and processes to make it easy for occupiers to take action. And finally, that common misconceptions about cost and demand for clean energy are overcome through better education.
74 sustainability, energy and environmental managers in the UK were surveyed for the report. 60% said they were interested in being part of a new movement to help educate, encourage and inspire more landlords and managing agents around the transition to renewable energy.
The Climate Group will explore various challenges and opportunities for landlords and corporate tenants at a unique event for London Climate Action Week in on Wednesday (3 July), with Shirley Rodrigues, the Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy.