As a responsible, future-focused real estate investor, we recognise ESG factors contribute to both long-term investment returns and the communities in which we operate.
In our view, accounting for ESG risks and opportunities can lead to more informed investment decisions and better outcomes for society and the environment. We consider ESG factors across our investment decisions and through our active asset management, with a view to maximise long-term outcomes for our clients.
We undertake careful consideration of our ESG priorities, which are aligned to QIC Real Estate’s ESG Strategy, and developed using QIC’s Sustainable Investment Policy and materiality framework as a starting point. We also leverage research on current and emerging megatrends and key stakeholder feedback to focus our approach around ESG themes most prominent for our real estate portfolio.
Our ESG risk management processes take the precautionary principle into account, and delivery against our strategic ESG objectives are the responsibility of all our employees and partners, with ESG-related key performance indicators linked to remuneration and weighted to promote transparency, outcomes and accountability.
QIC Real Estate’s ESG Strategy was established following extensive research and engagement with key external and internal stakeholders with the aim of refocusing our approach and amplifying our efforts on ESG themes identified as most material to the real estate portfolio. Our ESG Strategy aims to align our approach with best practice and evolving expectations of clients and other stakeholders, and positions us well to respond to current and emerging ESG themes.
Our approach builds on our sustainability achievements to date and positions us to continuously improve our ESG performance, focused on those themes that we believe drive the greatest value (for QIC, our assets and clients, as well as for the environment and community), realise opportunities and manage risks. Our strategic focus on material environmental and social issues is underpinned by a commitment to high standards of governance.
Our ESG strategy on a page can be seen below, and focuses our efforts around four priority areas: Resource Efficiency & Circular Economy; Climate Change; Sustainable Value Chain; and Community Investment. Progress against these priority areas is reported in the Our Progress section of this report.
A set of long-term (to 2030) and short-term (FY23) objectives have been developed to guide the implementation of our ESG Strategy, and against which we continuously monitor our progress over time.
We have mapped our four strategic focus areas and long-term objectives to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure they reflect both global sustainability priorities and issues that are material to our investors.
The QIC Real Estate ESG Report is distributed annually and is aligned to the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards in accordance with their ‘Core’ option.
US-based assets owned by QIC Real Estate are excluded from this report.
QIC maintains memberships and affiliations with the following organisations and governing bodies. These memberships allow us the opportunity to contribute to the development of a range of initiatives while also gaining relevant insights into the latest developments in the ESG space.
QIC’s current memberships and partnerships include:
Within QIC Real Estate, we are also active members of a range of ESG-related forums and working groups, which included the following during FY22:
During the year, QIC Real Estate continued to manage our environmental performance via our Environmental Management System (EMS). The EMS provides a framework to drive continuous improvement in our environmental performance and comply with applicable laws, regulations and other environment-related requirements.
The EMS is consistent with the recognised international standard AS/NZS ISO 14001:2016 Environmental Management Systems Requirements with Guidance for Use (ISO 14001). It provides a systematic approach to environmental management, using the Plan-Do-Check-Act approach outlined in ISO 14001:
The principal elements of the EMS are outlined below:
We take a continuous improvement approach to the application of our EMS, and during FY23 it will undergo review to ensure ongoing alignment with the objectives laid out in QIC Real Estate’s ESG Strategy.
QIC Real Estate designs, develops and manages vibrant urban destinations that anchor thriving communities. We have a significant development pipeline across a number of our assets, as well as being responsible for the development of the above ground precincts related to the Queensland Government’s Cross River Rail Project.
Our focus on sustainability extends to our development work, and in FY22 we created a new sustainable design brief to guide ESG decisions in the design and delivery of our development, major renovation and capital upgrade projects to support these projects to deliver outcomes that align with our ESG Strategy and objectives.
The new brief incorporates various criteria to help achieve QIC Real Estate’s ESG objectives across our four focus areas. It also includes our target to achieve 5-Star Green Star Building certifications on new developments at core assets1, as well as an increased focus on the actions of our contractors and suppliers. This includes requirements for contractors to implement practices that promote diversity, facilitate workforce participation and economic development of disadvantaged and under-represented groups, and reduce physical and mental health impacts on construction sites.
As part of the sustainable design brief’s implementation, QIC Real Estate has engaged an ESG consultant to act as the peer reviewer on all development projects moving forward, to challenge status quo thinking and ensure our ESG Strategy objectives are being met through these projects.
1 Assets 100% owned and operated by QIC Real Estate
Resource efficiency & circular economy
Sustainable value chain
^ Denotes existing target
# To 2030 unless otherwise stated
~ To FY23 unless otherwise stated. Priority short term objectives (public)
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1 Includes materials that may be used repeatedly, constantly being returned to the same production cycle, and can be recovered without any consequent hazardous material build-up in the environment e.g. cardboard, glass, metal, organics etc.
2 A lodgement fee is paid to NABERS on QIC’s behalf for each individual rating undertaken.
3 A lodgement fee is paid to Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) for each individual rating undertaken.
4 Refer to the Modern Slavery Statement published at www.qic.com for more.
All long-term objectives, short-term targets and Net Zero Carbon Emissions target apply to only assets that are 100% owned and managed by QIC (making up the following percentages of each Fund's portfolio value at 30 June 2022 - QTCF: 91%, QPF: 90%, QARP: 100%, QACPF: 98%, QOF: 99%). Short term targets to reduce carbon emissions are line with each Fund's Net Zero Carbon Emissions target, which rely on increase in renewable energy consumption through onsite solar roll out and purchase of grid sourced renewable energy (QPF/QTCF: ~70%, QOF: ~60%, QARP: ~64%, QACPF: ~68%) and reduction in electricity consumption through efficiency upgrades (QPF/QTCF: ~25%, QOF: ~35% including efficiencies achieved to date (~26%), QARP: ~21%, QACPF: ~22%). Baselines: (QPF/QTCF: 2018, QOF: 2015, QARP: 2021, QACPF: 2021). Carbon offsets will be purchased for residual emissions from sources with no existing fossil fuel free alternatives. Progress is quantified and receives limited independent assurance annually, in accordance with the Australian Standard on Assurance Engagements (ASAE3000). QPF, QTCF and QOF are signatories to the World Green Building Council's Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.