Facilities management company Mitie has announced its roadmap to achieve a net zero estate by 2025. With a current portfolio of more than 50 sites across the UK, Mitie has committed to having four net zero properties by the end of the Financial Year 2022 and is planning to convert an additional 14 sites to net zero every year, achieving a fully decarbonised estate by 2025.
This commitment is part of Mitie’s Plan Zero pledge to use its expertise in facilities and energy management to achieve net zero carbon for its operational emissions by 2025.
The first four sites – a mixture of offices and warehouses located in Birmingham, Glasgow, Nottingham, and East Hampshire – will achieve net zero carbon emissions by ensuring that only renewable electricity is used and by replacing the gas heating systems currently in use at three of the sites with heat pumps. With each property requiring a slightly different approach to decarbonise, these sites will be used as opportunities to develop and hone best practice that can be applied to the rest of Mitie’s buildings and shared with its customers. Once they have been decarbonised, Mitie will focus on the next priority sites on the list.
While the removal of gas heating systems and switch to renewable energy will result in Mitie decarbonising its sites, the business will be taking its commitment further, using its in-house energy management and project expertise to reduce the amount of energy it uses in the first place. This will include improving the energy efficiency of its sites to lower its environmental impact. Mitie has already carried out surveys of its entire estate to identify opportunities to make its buildings more energy efficient, for example by upgrading to LED lighting, improving the buildings’ insulation, and replacing old heating and cooling systems with new, more efficient, equipment. The business will work with its landlords to make these investments wherever possible and reduce the amount of energy it uses.
Mitie will also roll-out a number of energy optimisation initiatives across its estate. As well as adjusting settings, for example of heating and cooling systems, Mitie has established a new company-wide ‘Carbon Conscious Comfort Policy’, setting the optimum temperature and lighting levels that offer the best balance between employees’ health and wellbeing and reducing energy use. Through all these changes Mitie expects to save at least 120,000 kWh of energy per year, the equivalent to more than 26 tonnes of CO2 or 49 return flights from London to New York.
Simon King, Director of Sustainability and Social Value, Mitie, said:
“While there is often a lot of focus on the energy use of new buildings, given that 80% of the sites that will be in use in 2050 have already built, the decarbonisation and retrofitting of existing commercial properties will be essential to helping the UK meet its net zero targets. We’re proud to be leading by example not only with our commitment to have a fully net zero estate, but also by using our building management and sustainability expertise to cut the amount of energy we use in the first place.”
Mitie is already experienced in supporting its clients to use less energy and reduce their carbon footprint through its ‘A to E’ methodology, which takes businesses through each step of their decarbonisation journey. By using its expertise in renewable energy, sustainability, and efficient buildings, it has helped its customers to save more than 353,000 tonnes of carbon over the past decade through energy optimisations and decarbonisation solutions.
Mitie’s ESG performance has been recognised as industry leading by Sustainalytics, which ranked Mitie number one out of all ranked business support services companies globally in a January 2021 report. Similarly, the Carbon Disclosure Project attributed Mitie an A- Leadership rating in December 2020, meaning that the business is implementing current best practices, while also being the top CDP rated UK based Facilities Management provider.