CEO memo: the Net Zero transformation checklist
For Commercial Real Estate leaders, the starting point on net zero is often the ambition: we need to be net zero by… 2030? 2040? with some of the detailed thinking left for later.
This does not mean starting from scratch: most will have a baseline, a design track record sprinkled with BREEAM awards, some depth in energy efficiency and renewables production and sourcing, etc.
What might be missing is a unified view from strategy to execution, a gap that will later scupper your plans.
So here is our Transformation Checklist, followed by self assessment questions to help you spot any gaps:
Strategy: clarity of the vision gets net zero on the rails
Rationale: are your board, executives and wider management aligned on why net zero must be a strategic priority?
Ambition: is your goal detailed enough to provide clarity to your plans?
Business case: do you collectively understand the value drivers of net zero, with initial targets?
If you are missing one of those three, decisions will get derailed later.
Organisation: get the right team for the job
Leadership: does everyone know who is in charge of delivering net zero, at all levels, and is the leadership walking the talk?
Delivery model: have you mapped the required capabilities and decided what you should be able to do yourself?
Capability development: how will you get the right people and skills to deliver?
If any of the above is unclear, delivery will be slow, sub-optimal, and costly.
Execution: analyse. target. repeat.
Carbon management: do you know precisely where your carbon emissions are, and what drivers your initiatives are targeting?
Prioritisation: do you have an incremental, iterative process to define a net zero pathway optimal for both carbon impact and costs?
Monitoring: can you measure and maintain the impact of your initiatives, and drive continuous improvement?
As with any transformation, setting the right targets and celebrating the wins is key to maintaining momentum.
Net zero is not an ‘add on’ to business as usual, it changes the whole business. Development, design, operations, leasing and customer relations will be fundamentally impacted. The full net zero picture will be needed to mobilise and deliver the ambition.