Danica Pension has published its new real estate sustainability strategy, revealing goals to cut portfolio carbon emissions by 69% by 2030 and increase its focus on biodiversity.

Michael Nielsen, chief executive of Danica Ejendomme, said: “In the future, we will be much more ambitious in the field of climate and sustainability, and we want to do that because it is both good for society and because we are convinced that it will provide better returns for our pension customers, as we see an increased demand from tenants for sustainable properties.”

The CO2 emissions reduction targets for Danica’s DKK35bn (€4.7bn) real estate portfolio include a 30% cut by 2023, a 37% cut by 2025 and a 69% reduction by 2030 – all based on 2019 levels.

As a member of the investor climate initiative, the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, Danica Pension – which is a subsidiary of Danske Bank – has committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 across all asset classes.

Danica Ejendomme also plans to obtain sustainability certifications of DGNB Gold and DGNB Silver for all new construction and major renovation projects, respectively, starting from this year.

The Copenhagen-based real estate investor – which has substantial residential developments in the Danish capital and surrounding areas – said it would achieve the new sustainability goals through measures such as switching to green electricity, converting its projects to use district heating, monitoring energy use in buildings, optimisation of user behaviour in office properties and by pursuing fully carbon-neutral building sites.

Danica Ejendomme also said its would focus on broader ESG factors as well as carbon reduction, such as increasing biodiversity when constructing new projects through the addition of wild, natural spaces in the city.

“Going forward, we will carry out an analysis of biodiversity, and we have an eye for which species we are introducing,” said Nielsen, citing Danica’s Tuborg Strandeng waterside residential project as an example of a development location which lent itself well to the inclusion of wild nature in the plan.

The new sustainability strategy, which is already in place, also requires social clauses to continue to form part of all construction contracts, and states that these contracts much include a clause ensuring workers’ salaries correspond to Danish collective bargaining conditions.