Lamington Group sets new sustainability benchmark for hotel industry with whole life net zero approach
Real estate investor and developer Lamington Group has set an industry first target of delivering whole life net zero carbon across the future development and operation of its hometels.
Operated by room2, hometels are the brainchild of Lamington Group which combine the best elements from Airbnb, serviced apartments and boutique hotels in an offering designed to appeal equally to corporate and leisure guests and those seeking alternative forms of residential accommodation.
The ambitious target forms part of Lamington Group’s 2030 Net Zero Carbon Roadmap (Roadmap), published today and which includes the actions required for the company to reach its 1.5C aligned target, set in accordance with the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi).
Underpinning the delivery of whole life net zero carbon hotels, Lamington Group has developed its room2 Net Zero Building Specification, aligned to both the London Energy Transformation Initiative principles and the UK GBC Whole Life Net Zero framework. The development of all future hometels will strictly adhere to the new framework, which is focused on the critical need to reduce embodied carbon throughout the design stage and achieve operational net zero throughout the building’s lifetime.
Working alongside its partners, measures will include the use of low carbon construction methods and materials, purchasing 100 per cent renewable energy during construction and in-use, and specialist consultants appointed to reach carbon targets on every project. Any unavoidable operational and embodied emissions will be balanced through verified nature-based carbon removal offsets to achieve whole life net zero carbon.
The Roadmap represents the latest and most ambitious phase of Lamington Group’s long-standing focus on sustainability and recognises the leading role that the real estate industry has to play in mitigating climate change. At the same time, it is a major step forward for the hotel sector and positions Lamington Group at the forefront of the industry’s transition to net zero.
Alongside its room2 hometels’ net zero commitment, Lamington Group has committed to achieve net zero carbon across Scopes 1 and 2 by 2030 using science-based targets and by tracking and minimising Scope 3 emissions. The company’s management team has already begun drawing up retrofitting plans for its apartment portfolio. This will include switching all systems to electric so that they can be powered 100% through renewable sources and upgrades in insulation and heating efficiencies.
The Company has set a number of specific energy and climate targets across both its existing 14,000 sqm real estate portfolio and future developments, including:
Committing to only build and operate net zero hotels going forward
Committing to reduce absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by at least 46 per cent
All new keys to be all-electric and supplied by renewable energy, targeting a reduction in average Energy Unit Intensity (EUI) from 90 kWh/sq m per yr in 2021 to 50 kWh/sq m per year by 2028
Measuring, reducing and reporting Scope 3 emissions annually, primarily through working across its supply chain and reducing embodied carbon throughout the building design stages, with a post-construction embodied carbon emission target of <500kgC02/sq m
The development of green leases across long-let portfolio, requiring tenants to move to 100 per cent renewable tariffs by 2022
room2 hometels at Hammersmith and Southampton are already operating with 100 per cent renewable energy, with the remainder of Lamington Group’s directly managed portfolio, including its Missionworks’ coworking offer, to achieve this by 2023.
Lamington Group is collaborating with a range of stakeholders to adopt various frameworks at a corporate level. These include aligning with the GHG Protocol and Science Based Climate Initiative, as well as incorporating the One Planet Living Principles, which promote ten social and environmental values including community, local economy, zero waste and the use of sustainable materials. It will also work with guests across Lamington Group supporting them to make sustainable choices through a rewards scheme, which will be trialled in 2022.
Robert Godwin, Managing Director at Lamington Group and room2, says: “Today’s ambitious commitment to only deliver whole life net zero carbon hometels and wider 2030 Net Zero Carbon Roadmap reflects our strong belief that the real estate sector should be taking a lead on climate change to protect our planet for future generations. As a matter of urgency we are therefore taking action to both future proof our current portfolio, while delivering an industry leading hotel product. Showcasing innovation in carbon reduction will underpin our targeted delivery of 5,000 room2 hometel keys by 2030. Crucially we will not compromise on style and comfort.
“Despite buildings accounting for 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, the hospitality sector in particular has been left behind within the real estate industry. As a dynamic business which has decision making for the long term at its heart, we are in a strong position to set the benchmark for best-practice sustainability initiatives in this space, and align ourselves with similarly minded partners as we embark on our growth strategy.
“Demonstrating tangible progress will be integral to our approach, and we have a number of near term and exciting milestones which will take our sustainability agenda to the next level.”