Climate change and environmental degradation are some of the greatest challenges facing the world. As the home for many innovative companies, in addition to managing substantial real estate and land assets, Science Parks and Areas of Innovation globally have an important role to play.
The International Association of Science Parks is proposing to establish a global Sustainability Subnetwork, with Grant Bourhill, CEO of Surrey Research Park, coordinating the initiative. The primary aim of the network will be sharing best practice in energy and environmental sustainability to accelerate the effectiveness of local activities.
The 2021 United Nation Climate Change Conference saw all 197 countries reaffirm their pledge to the Paris Agreement of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C, and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C.
To achieve this there will be fundamental changes to real estate and working practices for new and especially existing science and technology parks, with Park owners having to work ever more closely with Tenants, on energy and wider environmental sustainability activities in areas such as water, food, soil, waste and biodiversity.
The IASP subnetwork expects to focus on:
- Regulatory change with associated lessons learned
- Practical changes to reducing carbon emissions and mitigating against emergent climate change impacts (e.g., risk of flooding)
- Practical changes associated with wider environmental factors (waste, water, food etc)
- Practical changes in social value / well being
- STP/AOI – tenant (and potentially wider) partnerships in implementing the above.
For more information on the International Association of Science Parks please visit their website: www.iasp.ws