Here at Fine Grain Property, our goal is to build world-class workplace communities on three pillars: Fine Grain Facilities, Friends and Futures. Our contemporary, amenities-rich buildings and their surroundings provide the facilities; the vibrant communities of like-minded businesses they house, the companies we partner with and our neighbours in local communities are the friends; the way we operate as a business helps build brighter and more sustainable futures for our clients, investors and the planet.
As Fine Grain’s Sustainability Consultant, it’s my responsibility to help make those futures reality. We are making giant leaps towards decarbonising our operations, nurturing biodiversity throughout our properties and encouraging people to make more sustainable choices. This is a genuine effort to make things better, ensure our assets are more sustainable and leave the planet in a better state for the next generation. By 2030, we will have at least halved our greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, our net emissions will be zero.
Of course, you can’t change anything without measuring it first. So, we teamed up with our friends at Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services to ascertain the baseline greenhouse gas emissions of our workplace communities across Ireland, in line with guidance from the World Research Institute and World Business Council. This has revealed that our scope 1 and 2 emissions (those arising directly from our operations or production of the energy we consume) total 1,723 tonnes a year. Halving this figure by 2030 (at the latest) will deliver a cut in emissions equivalent to a passenger taking nearly 900 flights from London to New York a year.
We’re not stopping there. We will be making it easier for our clients to make more sustainable choices through initiatives such as the provision of more electric vehicle charging points and e-bike hire schemes at our facilities. We will be reducing waste and water use throughout the estate and looking for ways to enhance biodiversity in our open spaces. We will be encouraging our neighbours to do the same. We will count and catalogue every tree in our business parks – an undertaking that will allow us to work out how much carbon is stored within them – and draw up a schedule for planting more.
Our ambitions are based on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 targets that form the basis of a global blueprint for future economic prosperity, equality and environmental sustainability. These targets are broken down into no fewer than 169 individual targets that will allow governments and businesses like ours to measure their progress towards delivering tangible benefits to people, the planet and prosperity between now and 2030.
The SDGs are as bold as they are wide-ranging. They aim to eradicate poverty and hunger and ensure equality and access to education the world over, while making cities and communities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, fostering life in all its bountiful and beguiling forms on earth and in water and ensuring access to affordable and clean energy for all. At Fine Grain, we share the same aspirations as the UN and are committed to playing our own small part in making them a reality.
We take our commitments seriously. And not just because the built environment is responsible for an estimated 40% of global carbon emissions or purely out of a sense of duty to the next generation. Of course, that is partly why, but with energy prices soaring and the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss becoming increasingly visible, it is crucial that we ensure our facilities are resilient to future changes. We have a responsibility to our clients, shareholders and friends to be doing everything we can to become more efficient and limit our use of precious resources.
By making our workplace communities more sustainable, we are also making them more attractive to prospective clients and their employees. At Fine Grain, we recognise that the future success of our clients, investors and business is entwined with that of our environment. That’s why the future is as crucial to the Fine Grain Way as our facilities and the friends that fill them.
Sean McGuire, Sustainability Consultant, Fine Grain Property