Sustainability at Swiss Prime Site
As Switzerland's largest listed real estate company, Swiss Prime Site is aware of its responsibilities to its customers, employees, the environment and society and has long made sustainability an integral part of its corporate strategy.
Swiss Prime Site is committed to conducting its business ethically and with integrity. Besides complying with statutory requirements and regulatory standards, this also means adhering to the internal directives and principles defined by the Company. The Company is also increasingly acting to influence its external supply chain. Swiss Prime Site is confident that sustainable, forward-thinking management increases the Company's resilience and enables it to create long-term value for the Company, its stakeholders, society and the environment.
Swiss Prime Site sets long-term goals that constitute the focus of its business model and value creation. These goals are based on the Swiss government's Energy Strategy 2050, the Paris Climate Accord and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Five of the 17 SDGs are particularly relevant to Swiss Prime Site, as they represent areas to which the Company can make the greatest contribution.
Given its core business, Swiss Prime Site deems it appropriate to look to SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities – for the principles that guide its business activities. SDG 11 is reflected in the real estate company’s corporate vision of creating sustainable living spaces and in the affirmation of its responsibilities regarding the social, ecological and economic framework surrounding its properties. Swiss Prime Site views real estate (projects) not just as individual projects, but as part of the Smart City, contributing to urban living space in the context of urban development and regeneration. A number of trends with a significant impact on Swiss Prime Site’s core business also align with SDG 11. These include urbanisation, neo-ecology and connectivity.
The real estate industry is responsible for a significant proportion of emissions and consumption of energy and resources. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), buildings produce around a third of global CO2 emissions over their life cycle and are responsible for an estimated 40% of global energy consumption. Given its business model, Swiss Prime Site is in a position to promote sustainability throughout the real estate supply chain and contribute towards SDG 13 – Climate Action – and recognises its responsibility to do so. The key elements in combating climate change are the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the implementation of a systematic CO2 reduction strategy across the construction and operation of properties.
In 2019, we developed a detailed CO2 reduction pathway for our property portfolio. For our around 1.6 million square metres of floor space, our reduction pathway forecasted an influenceable 75% reduction in relative CO2 emissions (intensity) by the year 2050 – assuming a continued average increase in portfolio and floorspace of 20 000 m2 per year. 2020, Swiss Prime Site’s Sustainability Board further tightened the reduction target for the property portfolio. The aim is now to achieve climate neutrality in the operation of the portfolio by 2040.