​Protecting the rainforest

Sustainable Development

May 08, 2016
by Simon Cox

In the first collaboration of its kind, we are working with Planet Mark and Cool Earth to mitigate embodied carbon emissions by protecting the Amazon rainforest.

Prologis UK is the only industrial developer to address embodied carbon as part of a sustainable development methodology and we have put in place a process that delivers significant, quantifiable benefits.

Although the embodied carbon emitted by the construction industry has a serious environmental impact, it has been widely overlooked. Since Building Regulations do not require developers to reduce embodied carbon emissions, we have developed our own approach.

In 2008, we began working with Planet Mark to measure and reduce the carbon embodied in the fabric and structure of our buildings to achieve Planet Mark certification. By 2010, we were keen to take this approach a step further and find a measurable way to mitigate the unavoidable embodied carbon.

We decided that we should focus on preventing deforestation and following careful research, we decided to work with Cool Earth, an environmental charity that works with indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction. Specifically, we decided to invest in Cool Earth’s project with the Ashaninka people in central Peru.

To ensure that the investment is sufficient to deliver a net benefit, we developed a process to calculate the embodied carbon mitigation level, which is now monitored and certified as part of the Planet First.
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Delivering results

Cool Earth is the only charity working on the frontline of deforestation. Its approach is to create strong, self-determining communities who protect their own forest and form a shield to make the neighbouring forest inaccessible to loggers, saving millions of acres.

Since Cool Earth joined the collaboration, 23 of our buildings have been Planet Mark certified and we have directly protected 6,158 acres of rainforest, which forms a barrier safeguarding a further 1.2 million acres. The project now includes 16 villages, where Cool Earth is establishing schools and helping local people to develop sustainable livelihoods.

The key to success has been consistency

Embodied carbon mitigation and support for Cool Earth has become standard practice for Prologis developments in the UK. The cumulative statistics provided below by Planet First are a powerful reminder of the project's environmental benefits and the potential for the future.


 
Read the other articles in the latest Prologis Review, Summer 2016
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