Iput to invest in forestry to offset carbon emissions from office blocks

Company partnering with A&L Goodbody to create Ireland’s most sustainable building

Iput, the leading Irish property investor and developer, is close to agreeing a forestry initiative to offset carbon emissions from its portfolio of offices and other buildings as it seeks to meet its net-zero climate targets.

Iput chief executive Niall Gaffney told The Irish Times that it planned to use a “forestry plantation” to offset emissions from its buildings. “It’s part of our net zero 2030 strategy,” he said.

The landholding near Mitchelstown in north Cork stretches to about 100 acres and is covered with deciduous and native trees. Iput will acquire the carbon credits for 40 years with the forest remaining the property of the landowner. It will be validated by an independent third party.

This moves comes as Iput has entered into a partnership with law firm A&L Goodbody to create Ireland’s most sustainable building through the redevelopment of 25 North Wall Quay in Dublin’s IFSC, where the firm moved in 1999.


Retaining structure

A&L will relocate to nearby Dublin Landings – another Iput office block – while its current building is redeveloped. By retaining much of the property’s existing concrete and steel structure, the development’s embodied carbon will be reduced by 60 per cent, Mr Gaffney said.

“The carbon that we do generate in the construction we’re going to offset with our forestry initiative,” he said. “It’s a native forest that’s been planted and that will start generating carbon sequestration credits over the next decade. We’re not buying carbon offsets off the shelf from some Amazonian forest that we don’t know about. We’re actually generating the carbon credits domestically.”

The new building, which will offer 36 per cent more space to A&L Goodbody when it is completed in 2024, will also have an efficient all-electric energy strategy, powered on-site and procured from renewable sources.

Net-zero building

“By keeping the steel frame and the concrete . . . the level of CO2 that we will generate to develop this building will be below a threshold that allows us to declare it a net-zero building,” Mr Gaffney said.

Iput has 92 properties in its portfolio, across offices, retail and logistics. These include AIB’s headquarters at 10 Molesworth Street, and Wilton Park, which is under development and will include LinkedIn’s head office. It last year announced plans to spend €500 million “greening” its portfolio.

Meanwhile, on its return-to-office plans, A&L Goodbody’s managing partner, Julian Yarr, said the firm was adopting a “phased approach” with staff currently asked to attend the office at least one day a week. “Most people said they want to be back at least two or three days a week. So we think over the next number of months we’ll begin to get a sense of what works,” he said.

The firm employs more than 920 employees, with about 800 located in Dublin.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times