The pioneering agreement was reached by the retail industry to reduce carbon emissions from retailer properties. “The Retailer/Landlord Net Zero Buying Protocol” outlines the principles that must be followed for Net Zero retail sites.

This agreement aims to establish high standards of sustainability among retailers and property owners. It also supports business commitments to reduce carbon emissions. It also supports the UK Government’s requirements for higher building energy efficiency.

Protocol covers two main areas. It aims to increase the energy efficiency in buildings by urging property owners and retailers alike to work together to invest in sustainable improvements such as insulation. It also aims to facilitate the sharing of information on energy use.

It also encourages greater use of renewable energy in buildings. This includes encouraging the exploration of potential sources of such energy and increasing on-site biodiversity.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of British Retail Consortium (BRC), which the protocol is part of, said that the Net Zero Building Protocol offers retailers and property owners a wonderful opportunity to work together for a greener future. “The protocol addresses the sustainability of retailers sites and aims to increase energy efficiency and embrace renewable energies. It is the first of its type.”

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“Climate action demands cross-industry collaboration…”

This protocol is part of the Climate Action Roadmap by BRC, which is supported by more than 75 major retailers including Next, Marks and Spencer and Ted Baker. This roadmap is designed to make sure that retailers and their supply chain are net zero by 2040 in accordance with the national goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees celsius.

Dickinson said: “Climate action requires cross-industry cooperation, and this protocol gives property owners and retailers the language and structure they need to create a greener market for property.”

Jane Wakiwaka is the environmental sustainability director at The Crown Estate. She also stressed the importance of collaboration among property owners and occupiers to achieve net zero goals. She stated that “This partnership is an important step forward in identifying practical ways our sectors could work together to address the crisis of our generation.”

The BRC’s Climate Action Roadmap was developed in the wake of COP26. It was released through the Better Retail Better World campaign. This asked the retail industry for a fairer, more sustainable economy that is in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals. Numerous retailers signed up for the cause and made it clear that they were open to working together.

The roadmap outlines specific targets and takes into account the UK’s net zero goal. These include implementing renewable electricity resources by 2030, and finding fuel, gas, and refrigerant replacements by 2035.

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