04 December 2020

The Crown Estate commits to Net Zero by 2030 and to optimise the green energy potential of the nation’s seabed

The Crown Estate has today outlined its commitment to address the environmental emergency by aligning to the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Climate Agreement, with a target to become a net zero carbon business by 2030 and climate positive thereafter.

It has also committed to optimising the green energy potential of the seabed which it manages around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, supporting the UK’s 2050 path to net zero.

The business, which in the last ten years has generated £2.9bn of income for Treasury, oversees a diverse portfolio, including some of best places to live, work and shop, in Central London and across the country, substantial rural land holdings, and Windsor Great Park. Its new commitments today include:

  • To become a net zero business by 2030 and be climate positive thereafter, aligning with a 1.5°C climate scenario. This commitment includes all Scope 1-3 emissions associated with the operation of directly managed assets;
  • Rapidly decarbonising its real estate portfolio across the country by reducing carbon embodied in development, improving energy performance of existing assets and procurement of 100% renewable energy across the portfolio;
  • Championing a comprehensive approach to sustainable investment, including application of the TCFD (Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures) framework and an internal carbon price.

The Crown Estate will review its progress against this target annually, will develop detailed plans to drive progress to be completely fossil-free as soon as possible and will be working with the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) to agree appropriate decarbonisation targets in line with its 2030 1.5°C trajectory.

As manager of the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, The Crown Estate also committed to optimise the green energy potential of the nation’s world-class offshore resources, supporting the nation’s 2050 net zero ambition by:

  • Continuing shaping a strategic and holistic approach to managing an increasingly busy seabed. This includes facilitating the development of offshore wind to help enable the Government’s goal of delivering 40GW by 2030 and enabling new technologies like floating wind, all in a way which protects marine biodiversity and the natural environment;
  • Addressing the crises in our climate and ecological environment in a joined-up way, including identifying opportunities for carbon sequestration and developing new ways to restore nature by encouraging biodiversity in marine, rural and urban environments.

Dan Labbad, The Crown Estate’s Chief Executive said: The impacts of Covid-19 and the wider volatility we face today only underline the importance of businesses like ours stepping up with purpose, pace and ambition to address systemic challenges facing our society and environment.

“This cannot wait and we make our commitment to net zero today, knowing that we don’t have all the answers. We understand there will be big challenges to solve along the way and to succeed we will need to rapidly innovate in areas like technology and digital, to think differently about how we optimise the green potential of the seabed, as well as find new solutions by collaborating with our many customers and partners who share our ambitions.

“We are committed to investing to support our goal and pushing ourselves to work as hard and as fast as we can towards it, adjusting accordingly if we need to, as we better understand the opportunities and challenges further in the years ahead”.

The Crown Estate will focus on building capacity and expertise, supporting innovation and technological enhancement and identifying new partnerships and ways of working with customers and stakeholders to align and support each other’s environmental goals.

The Crown Estate has also signed up to the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Building Commitment and the Better Building Partnership Climate Change Commitment.

Read more on the 'Our response to the environmental emergency' page. 

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