Developer says offsetting alone is not enough as it lays out its four-point energy strategy

Developer Land Securities has revealed its four-point energy strategy which questions whether the increasing use of carbon offsetting should be seen by the industry as a solution to climate change.

The group has said in its report that neutralising a company's carbon footprint through offsetting will not be sufficient to stabilise the affects of climate change.

Land Securities’ energy strategy addresses this problem based on four stages: reducing overall energy consumption, delivering energy in a more efficient way, using renewable energy resources and offsetting.

Through monitoring energy consumption and targeting problem areas the developer has been able to reduce emissions of multi-tenanted offices by more than 11% over 5 years, saving 11,145 tonnes of CO2.

Step two requires delivering energy in a more efficient way. Land Securities uses Combined Heat and Power plants (CHP), which are suitable for some properties, to eliminate transmission losses and utilise fuel more efficiently thereby lowering overall carbon emissions. The group is now CHP in the DVLA’s new data-centre in Swansea.

The group uses renewable energy sources such as open-loop borehole systems and heat pumps.

Only then does the group move onto the fourth and final point in the strategy – offsetting – something it believes is not an effective enough measure against climate change alone.

Dave Farebrother, Environmental Director at Land Securities commented on the strategy;

“We will only offset after exploring our options and where doing so provides a further incentive to tackle emissions. Land Securities has been able to demonstrate a reduction in energy consumption year on year for the past five years through its voluntary participation in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme, saving more than 11,000 tonnes of CO2 simply through better energy management. By educating our employees and the occupiers of our properties and adopting practical energy saving ideas such as timer switches, enhanced insulation and agreed adjustment of set-points, we have demonstrated that significant reductions can be achieved for little or no cost.”