Manulife Investment Management has announced plans to reduce harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its real estate portfolio by 80% by 2050.
The Canadian asset management giant set out its plans in a new Real Estate Sustainability report. It aims to become a leader in sustainable real estate and has developed a GHG emissions measurement model adapted for real estate assets.
The “represents a step forward in our commitment to climate change mitigation and our role in the transition to a healthier planet”, said Steve Blewitt, global head of private markets at Manulife.
He added: “Manulife Investment Management’s real estate team has been measuring and reporting on greenhouse gas emissions in our sustainability reports since 2017. Setting this realistic target demonstrates our commitment to holding ourselves accountable and achieving high standards across climate-related considerations.”
To actively demonstrate efforts in carbon reduction, Manulife Investment Management said it had put in place a number of initiatives to identify ways in which it can reduce the emissions profile of its assets and investment funds. These included a “deep carbon retrofit study” for the buildings it owns, as well as an updated leasing process to focus on sustainability.
The company said it would shift to low-carbon fuel sources where possible throughout its infrastructure, and install solar panels and other renewable energy generation and storage assets.
“Through carbon emission reduction, Manulife Investment Management aims to be a key player in the transition to a low carbon economy,” said Regan Smith, Manulife’s global head of real estate sustainability.
As of March 31, 2021, Manulife’s real estate portfolio totalled 63 million square feet of office, industrial, and retail space, and over 6,500 multifamily units located in markets across Canada, the US, and Asia.
Across all asset classes and services, Manulife had C$764.1 billion (US$607.6 billion) in assets under management and administration as of March 31.