Global logistics real estate provider Prologis says it is on track to meet its goals for 100% carbon-neutral construction and 100% LED lighting across its 984 million-square-foot portfolio of buildings by 2025.
In advance of World Environment Day on Saturday, Prologis on Thursday shared its 2020 Sustainability Report, which focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors through the lens of customers, talent and culture, and innovative and operational excellence.
“We have a strong history in pushing the boundaries of what is possible — and we must go even further to meet the urgency of today’s environmental and social challenges and the growing objectives of our stakeholders,” Hamid R. Moghadam, chairman and CEO at Prologis, said in the report.
Prologis is working to address its impacts on customers, workers and communities in addition to the climate. The company set scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 emissions targets in 2018 through the Science Based Targets initiative. Scope 1 and 2 emissions are related to direct operations. Scope 3 emissions often occur upstream or downstream and are indirectly related to business operations.
Prologis’ scope 1 and scope 2 emissions, which represent 0.1% of its total emissions, rose by 40% from 2016 to 2020, so reaching its 21% reduction goal by 2025 could be challenging. However, Prologis has already surpassed its 2025 goal of reducing scope 3 emissions by 15% by 2025 and instead reduced indirect emissions by 37% between 2016 and 2020.
“In an unprecedented year of challenges, I’m really proud of the significant progress we’ve made toward our ESG goals and how we used our scale to align with customers to respond to the evolving needs of their business,” Ying Yu, senior vice president of ESG at Prologis, told FreightWaves.
Investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency grow
In 2017, Prologis set an energy-saving goal to install cool roofing at 100% of new property developments and improvements, which it retired in this report due to methodological challenges. However, it said 44% of the company’s global portfolio had cool or reflective roofing at the end of 2020. Yu noted that Prologis started tracking cool roofing data as part of its scope 3 emissions goals instead of having a separate target.
Another energy-saving goal for 400 megawatts of solar energy capacity by 2025 is in progress. As part of the SolarSmart program, the company had 252 megawatts of solar capacity installed by the end of 2020, providing enough energy to power more than 42,250 homes for a year.
Greener buildings on the way
Yu said the main source of scope 3 emissions for the company is customers’ energy usage, so one of the strategies used to address that is installing more LED lighting. The report said 42% of Prologis lighting was LED at the end of 2020, and the company is on track to meet its goal for 100% LED lighting across its entire portfolio by 2025.
In addition to improving energy efficiency and using renewable energy, Prologis has a 2025 goal for 100% carbon-neutral construction globally. The company uses sustainable building certifications such as LEED, BREEAM and CASBEE. Along with smart building design strategies and sustainable waste management, Prologis will purchase certified carbon credits to offset emissions related to building construction.
Employee and community programs, including COVID-19 relief
The company reported it’s on track to train 25,000 people through its Community Workforce Initiative (CWI) and spend 75,000 hours supporting communities globally by 2025. Prologis also reported a 100% annual ethics training rate for employees.
“We founded Prologis CWI with the goal of connecting our customers with access to qualified, skilled labor and [opening] up fulfilling logistics careers for people in our communities. The training programs have traditionally run through an in-person format, but in 2020, we launched an innovative, digital curriculum that is all online and mobile-friendly,” Yu said.
Funds for COVID-19 relief efforts totalled $5 million, and $1 million was donated to organizations fighting racial injustice. Prologis donated an additional $10.2 million in in-kind rent to organizations on the front lines of the pandemic.
“Despite the unprecedented events of the past year, we remained steadfast in our commitments to meet and exceed our customers’ evolving business and sustainability priorities and provide meaningful support to our colleagues and communities around the world,” said Moghadam in a release.