By Charles Kennedy
One of Australia’s largest real estate developers, Lendlease Corp., has announced plans to stop constructing gas infrastructure in new buildings from 2030 onwards as part of efforts to quit fossil fuels by 2040.
Lendlease Corp. will also retrofit all of its existing commercial and residential buildings to prevent occupants from using natural gas from 2040, Bloomberg reported.
Investors “expect us to be performing well in the realm of sustainability and routinely asks questions in relation to carbonization. So even if government isn’t setting targets, investors are,” said Lendlease’s head of sustainability, Ann Austin, in an interview with Bloomberg.
In a separate news release, the Australian developer said it has started using renewable diesel for its construction equipment at a building site and plans to expand this use to several more sites.
The developer’s decision to wean the occupants of its properties off natural gas is not an isolated one. California’s government earlier this year approved a proposal that will see gas-fired water heaters and furnaces banned from 2030. Seattle and San Francisco are among U.S. cities that have also banned all gas in new buildings.
The ban does not cover gas stoves for now, but many cities in California are seeking to discourage the use of gas stoves and a switch to electric-only appliances.
Meanwhile, Business Green reports that several developers have teamed up with chefs to form a Global Cooksafe Coalition aimed at phasing out natural gas for cooking by 2040 by first eliminating gas stoves from new buildings and then retrofitting existing real estate to exclude natural gas as an option.
“Electric is definitely the future of cooking in the home and in commercial kitchens,” Australian chef Neil Perry said, as quoted by Business Green. “It’s cleaner, it’s more efficient and it’s definitely more beneficial for the environment. Everything tends to be neater and cleaner without gas.”