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British Land banks on Fifth Wall in net zero strategy

The FTSE 100 landlord has made a strategic investment into Fifth Wall’s Climate Technology Fund in a move it hopes will help it achieve its ESG targets – and attract occupiers.

The Fifth Wall fund invests in technologies that address the carbon footprint of a building throughout its lifecycle, from materials to demolition, building operations and recycling.

In working with Fifth Wall, British Land will be able to access and integrate the latest climate-focused tech, which it hopes will make its buildings more attractive to customers while meeting its sustainability commitments.

The developer will also have the chance to collaborate with other real estate and tech businesses to find solutions to climate change.

Net zero targets

British Land has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2030, including a 75% reduction in operational carbon intensity and 50% reduction in embodied carbon in its developments.

David Walker, chief operating officer at British Land, said that new technologies will play “an increasingly important role” in both the development and operation of its portfolio.

He added: “This investment will help us grow our expertise in climate tech, gain exposure to innovative solutions that are directly applicable to our business and retain our industry-leading position on sustainability.”

Click here for more about British Land’s sustainability targets and progress

The partnership came as Fifth Wall announced that it raised $1.1bn across its funds in 2021, with founder Brendan Wallace hailing “the Golden Age of proptech”.

Of its partnership with British Land, Wallace said: “The challenges we face are all-encompassing in scope and global in reach and, therefore, it is critical that we uncover and invest in the solutions that can decarbonise the world’s largest asset class.”

He added: “We are thrilled that British Land has taken a leadership position in sustainability through its commitment to Fifth Wall’s Climate Technology Fund and we look forward to connecting British Land to critical decarbonization technologies that can advance their sustainability priorities.”

Fifth Wall’s climate tech portfolio

Fifth Wall lists four climate-focused portfolio companies on its website:

  • Clarity AI: a machine learning platform that provides companies with environmental and social data analytics for investing, corporate research and reporting
  • ICON: a robotics startup that “reimagines homebuilding” with techniques such as 3D printing and advanced materials
  • Sealed: a “home wellness company” that seeks to modernise home heating and cooling with upgrades like insulation and HVAC technology
  • Turntide Technologies: creator of “smart motor” systems that can be used in buildings and transport as a way of switching to low carbon energy

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