By 2050, Manulife Investment Management says it would like to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its real estate assets by 80 per cent. The firm says the measure is part of its aim to be a key player in the transition to a low carbon economy.

“A global real estate asset manager, Manulife Investment Management recognizes its unique position to help lead the transition to a low carbon economy,” the firm writes in an announcement about the release of its 2021 Real Estate Sustainability report.

The report focuses on the firm’s efforts to drive sustainability in real estate around the world, and includes details on the greenhouse gas model it uses, which sets a reduction target of 80 per cent by 2050.

Calling it a realistic target, the firm further outlines the four strategies it plans to employ to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its global real estate portfolio. “Over the past year, the firm conducted a deep carbon retrofit study at its buildings in addition to updating the leasing process, with greater focus on sustainability. This is part of a strategic approach,” they add.

The four strategies include the pursuit of efficiency measures – incremental energy improvements, fuel switching to less carbon intensive forms of energy, onsite renewables and storage, including rooftop solar panels, particularly in regions with carbon-intensive electrical grids, and the purchase of carbon offsets to address the energy or carbon which remains after the first three actions are completed.

“To support these initiatives and better understand its current standing, Manulife Investment Management’s real estate team will work to implement this overarching strategy, identifying regional and asset-level opportunities where energy and associated emissions can be reduced,” they add. “All projects will also be evaluated in terms of their carbon-based returns and how they will assist with the reduction in emissions.”