In December 2020, Berkeley received approval from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its science-based targets (SBTs) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:
- The Berkeley Group commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 50% by FY2030 from a FY2019 base year.
- The Berkeley Group also commits to reduce scope 3 purchased goods and services and use of sold products GHG emissions 40% per square foot of legally completed floor area over the same timeframe.
Having received Board sign-off in summer 2020, the above SBTs were submitted to the SBTi in October 2020 for review against their validation criteria by their team of technical experts. The SBTi's formal notification of approval was received on 4 December 2020.
These targets represent an ambitious step forward in Berkeley's approach to tackling climate change and have been calculated to ensure that we play our part in limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
To ensure that we achieve our targets, Berkeley's focus is on the following:
- Reducing gas oil, natural gas and electricity consumption across our construction sites, offices and sales suites (scope 1 and 2 target). Particular emphasis will be placed on minimising or eliminating gas oil usage through the implementation of more fuel efficient plant and its substitution with biodiesels; measures that have been trialled by Berkeley during 2019/20.
- Undertaking embodied carbon assessments and working with our supply chain to reduce impact across the most prominent areas (scope 3 target).
- Continuing to improve the fabric efficiency of our homes and incorporating low carbon technologies (scope 3 target). We will also look to monitor the in-use performance of our homes to help drive further improvements.
In addition to the above, Berkeley continues to procure 100% renewable electricity backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) for its UK construction site, office and sales suite activities. This is an action that has been in place since May 2017, along with offsetting our remaining emissions from our direct operations through verified projects to be carbon neutral, which continues on an annual basis.
Alongside these new SBTs, Berkeley is focused on adapting our business and our homes and neighbourhoods to be more resilient to more extreme weather conditions.
Berkeley's track record on climate action:
- 2007: became the first UK homebuilder to publish a Climate Change Policy;
- 2010: first carbon reduction targets and programmes launched as part of our business strategy, Our Vision;
- 2014: launched our climate change adaptation programme to improve resilience of our homes and neighbourhoods to extreme weather events and rising global temperatures;
- 2018: procured 100% renewable electricity for direct UK operations for the first time;
- 2018: achieved carbon neutral business operations for the first time, by taking action to reduce our emissions and offsetting remaining emissions via verified offsetting projects;
- 2019: produced our first zero carbon transition plans, setting out the site specific design, infrastructure and technology solutions which would enable our neighbourhoods to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030;
- 2020: set SBTs, including a scope 1 and 2 target aligned to a 1.5°C pathway;
- 2020: rated 'A' by CDP for our climate action and transparency, the highest score available from CDP and achieved in our sector.