This is a case study that's a part of the 2021 REIT Industry ESG Report, an annual report detailing the REIT industry's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance details in the publicly traded U.S. REIT industry. Featured case studies showcase REIT leadership and ESG innovation from a variety of sectors and serve as a practical tool for stakeholders to assess the scale and impact of the REIT industry's ESG commitments and initiatives.
In 2020, Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc. (NYSE: HPP) achieved 100% net-zero carbon across all operations through a combination of energy efficiency, on-site renewables, off-site renewables, and carbon offsets.
Hudson Pacific’s race to net zero was accelerated due to the coronavirus pandemic, as the organization recognized that even in low occupancy scenarios its energy usage would likely increase due to enhanced air quality and ventilation needs.
"Hudson Pacific's 'Better Blueprint'TM platform recognizes sustainability, health, and equity as interconnected pillars that guide our work and form the foundation of our long-term success. Meeting our carbon neutrality goal—five years ahead of schedule—showcases our commitment to prioritizing climate action and minimizing our environmental impact, with much more work to come as we continue to set bold goals for the future."
Natalie Teear, SVP, Innovation, Sustainability & Social Impact
In recognition of these operational changes and challenges, the organization decoupled its carbon and energy use, ensuring that Hudson Pacific would remain carbon neutral regardless of pandemic impacts while also positioning the organization to not have to "choose" between its commitment to sustainability and property health and safety.
More specific drivers contributing to Hudson Pacific’s carbon neutrality achievements included:
- Energy efficiency: Approximately 71% of Hudson Pacific’s in-service office portfolio is ENERGY STAR certified, while 80% is LEED certified.
- On-site renewables: The company uses traditional rooftop solar panels where possible and has piloted new technology such as building-integrated solar panels.
- Off-site renewables and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs): Many of Hudson Pacific's properties purchase carbon-free directly from local utilities, and all remaining electricity is 100% renewable through the purchase of RECs from a wind farm in Texas.
- Carbon offsets: The remainder of the company's greenhouse gas emissions are offset by Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) certified emission reduction credits from a landfill gas-to-energy project in Illinois.
Moving forward, Hudson Pacific plans to measure embodied carbon at all its developments, leverage innovative design and materials choices to drive lower-carbon construction, and further invest in innovative technology to scale its energy efficiency and on-site renewable energy solutions.
Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc. is a real estate investment trust focused on premier West Coast epicenters of innovation, media, and technology—with a portfolio of office and studio properties totaling nearly 20 million square feet, including land for development.