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JSE-listed Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Redefine Properties (JSE:RDF) recently received Net Zero Carbon Level 2: Building & Occupant Emissions (Measured) certification for two buildings within its commercial property portfolio, the Old Warehouse and the Terraces, both located at Black River Park in one of Cape Town’s prime business hubs, from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).

A net zero carbon building is defined as one that operates with zero net carbon emissions for over a year. These buildings are highly energy efficient and, where feasible, use renewable energy for the remaining energy requirements, only relying on carbon offsets to balance energy use as a last resort.

This achievement brings the total number of net zero buildings in Redefine’s portfolio to five, following the certifications received from the GBCSA last year for three of its Gauteng properties: 90 Rivonia, 2 Pybus, and Rosebank Link. In addition, Redefine has received a Precinct certification for Commerce Square – this is the first certification of its kind in South Africa to be awarded by the GBCSA, which has, in effect, rated Commerce Square in its entirety as Net Zero Carbon Level 2: Building & Occupant Emissions (Measured).

Ursula Mpakanyane, Head of ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) at Redefine, says the REIT has achieved its Net Zero Carbon Level 2 certification for the Black River Park buildings through a combination of energy efficiency-enhancing projects and carbon offsets traded through a well-established voluntary carbon offsetting programme. “It’s a significant achievement that signals Redefine’s commitment to performance-based sustainability and underscores the company’s leadership in the journey towards carbon neutrality,” Mpakanyane says.

Black River Park is a prime multi-tenanted office park that seamlessly blends office and retail space. The office park has two sections, namely South Park and North Park, also known as Observatory Business Park. The 14 buildings, including the Old Warehouse and the Terraces, within Black River Office Park offer a combined ±75 000sqm of office space. Eleven of these buildings have green building credentials awarded by the GBCSA. Additionally, the park’s 1 561kWp roof-mounted solar panel installation is one of the 30 largest installations in the world and one of the largest in Southern Africa.

The tenants of the Old Warehouse, Terraces and Commerce Square provide value to their stakeholders by operating in a net zero carbon certified building, which was certified by the GBCSA. “Furthermore, this certification demonstrates how our sustainability efforts enhance the quality of the assets for our tenants and prospective tenants by operating in our net zero carbon certified buildings.”

She adds: “The certifications reflect our steadfast dedication to sustainability and climate resilience and align with Redefine’s ambitious goal of having all new buildings achieve net zero operational carbon by 2030, while actively working to ensure existing buildings do the same by 2050. Having Commerce Square as the first precinct in SA to achieve Net Zero Carbon validates our dedication to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals 7, 9, 11, and 13. It also provides objective confirmation to our stakeholders that our buildings have been benchmarked against global best practice efficiency standards.”

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