Dutch pension funds and Norway’s sovereign wealth fund are backing a new partnership designed to provide fully aligned 1.5°C decarbonisation pathways for the real estate sector.

The Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and the Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor initiative (CRREM) have teamed up to help real estate investors set and implement science-based net-zero targets with global consistency.

The initiative is being supported by Dutch pension asset managers APG and PGGM, which already fund CRREM, and Norges Bank Investment Management, which oversees Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, and the Laudes Foundation, launched in 2020.

CRREM and the SBTi will align their existing methodologies to 1.5°C pathways for operational real estate emissions and will release “CRREM-SBTi pathways” for real estate in April this year.

Real estate companies and occupiers will need to use the pathways if their science-based targets are to be validated by the SBTi.

CRREM and the SBTi will also work together to ensure the underlying assumptions, carbon budgets and methodological foundation are fully aligned.

Karl Downey, senior technical manager of SBTi, said: “Science is clear: we must halve emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero before 2050 if we want to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown; and this will only be possible by exponentially growing the number of companies setting science-based targets, including those in the buildings industry.

“Through this collaboration between CRREM and the SBTi, we will give companies in the buildings sector a robust standard methodology to scale up their climate actions at the depth and pace needed to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and stand a fighting chance of maintaining a habitable planet for us all.”

CRREM and SBTi said they will embark on “an inclusive and transparent multi-stakeholder process”, involving two expert advisory groups, with representation from key stakeholders from private sector, civil society organisations, investors, policymakers and academics.

Sven Bienert, founder and managing director of the Institute for Real Estate Economics and head of the CRREM initiative, said: “CRREM has set the standard for operational decarbonisation pathways in real estate and the SBTi has launched the net-zero standard to enable companies to align their corporate net-zero targets with limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

“Together the two bodies will ensure that market participants have free access to global decarbonisation pathways that are scientifically robust, anchored with investors and industry bodies, and fully aligned with the SBTi target validation protocol.”