New World Development (“NWD” or “the Company”) has committed to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C, a global call to action from the United Nations as well as business leaders for climate change mitigation under the Paris Agreement.
NWD is one of 14 real estate companies globally, and the third in Asia, to have committed to setting science-based targets (SBT) that would help limit global warming to 1.5°C. SBT provide companies with a clearly-defined path to reducing emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals, aiming to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change and future-proof businesses.
The commitment, which covers the Company’s major properties and construction activities in Hong Kong and mainland China, is in line with New World Group’s continued focus on building sustainable communities via New World Sustainability Vision 2030 (SV2030), a long-term strategy that references the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) with four pillars: Green, Wellness, Smart and Caring.
Adrian Cheng, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NWD, said, “We call on more organisations globally to join us on this journey to reduce carbon footprint, protect the environment and create shared value for all stakeholders.”
“Historically, the real estate industry has contributed significantly to global carbon emissions which has catalysed climate change. It is incumbent on the industry leaders to ramp up climate change mitigation efforts now for a more liveable future. In fact, I urge the industry to not only see this as a wake-up call but actually as an opportunity to rethink the way we develop and do so in a far more sustainable approach. Taking climate action is our responsibility to the next generation and also a business opportunity. Our bold commitment to SBT will support Hong Kong’s plan for net zero carbon by 2050 and Mainland China’s target of carbon neutrality by 2060.”
Taking action on climate change is not new to NWD. Since 2018, the Company has been working towards SV2030, which targets to halve its environmental impact in energy and carbon emissions intensity from the levels in FY2015 across different business units. It is also a leader in building globally renowned certified green buildings such as Victoria Dockside and K11 ATELIER King’s Road in Hong Kong, being an early supporter of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and establishing Impact Kommons, Asia’s first startup accelerator focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). The latest commitment to Business Ambition for 1.5°C steers the company to further decarbonise its operation and additionally focus on setting targets in 2023 to reduce both direct and indirect emissions by 2030.
Ellie Tang, Head of Sustainability of NWD, said, “Committing to Business Ambition for 1.5°C is an exciting milestone to accelerate our sustainable building efforts and echo the global call for imminent climate action. It sends a clear signal that New World Group is connecting its business success with positive impact on people and the planet. Business as usual is not enough to address climate risks: we must adopt global best decarbonisation practices and work with our business partners to reduce the impact of global warming."
Looking ahead, the Company sees business opportunity in climate action, for example, in terms of global recognition and sustainable finance. NWD maintained its five-star (highest) rating in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) in 2019 and 2020 and was rated first globally for climate resilience disclosure in 2020. It also recently became the world’s first real estate developer to issue a USD Sustainability-Linked Bond (SLB), with a target to power its rental properties in the Greater Bay Area of China by 100% renewable energy by 2026 which forms part of the Company’s greater commitment of using 100% renewable energy for all Greater China rental properties by 2031.