Reducing carbon emissions and saving money with green electricity
Moving away from fossil fuels
Reducing emissions of harmful greenhouse gases has become a key focus of national and international environmental policies, backed by correspondingly ambitious objectives. The industrialised nations are aiming to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal, oil and gas by up to 70 per cent by the middle of the century, and to zero by the end of the century. Germany is one of the pioneers here with its “Energiewende” programme for transitioning to renewables.
Operators and tenants of commercial property can make a significant contribution to climate protection by purchasing green electricity. Buildings are among the largest producers of carbon dioxide emissions, with electricity consumption during building operation being the largest single source.
Switching to green electricity is the simplest and most effective measure property occupiers can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
As the holder of one of the largest property portfolios in Europe, Union Investment sees it as part of its corporate social responsibility to develop the portfolio in a sustainable, considered manner. Accordingly, the company now purchases green electricity for the common areas and building services in almost all its German properties.
Selecting the right supplier is particularly important, because “green electricity” is not a protected term. Not all electricity marketed as green actually promotes climate protection. By sourcing certified green electricity, Union Investment can be confident that it is supporting the expansion of renewable energy.
Switching to green electricity also brings financial benefits for asset managers. Union Investment reduced its electricity costs by around EUR 1.5 million last year, with bundled purchasing playing a major role.
Environmentally-friendly electricity from Norwegian hydropower
For Hamburg's EMPORIO high-rise block, Union Investment purchases green electricity for the common areas and plant from LichtBlick AG. This electricity comes from Norwegian hydropower, which means zero carbon emissions are produced during generation. Switching from conventional electricity to green electricity in the EMPORIO tower thus delivers annual savings of some 33 tonnes of CO2 per floor.
By opting for genuine green electricity, companies not only improve their own carbon balance, they also make an active contribution to environmental protection. Furthermore, choosing the right supplier promotes the ongoing expansion of renewable energy. The switch can also be financially beneficial. Price comparisons show that green electricity suppliers can actually be less expensive than mainstream suppliers of conventional grey electricity. It certainly makes sense to take a close look at the tariffs.