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Aviva Investors

”Our Smart Buildings Programme is the first step towards decarbonisation of large and complex assets. The combination of the right software and expertise means we can help occupiers to save on their utility bills whilst contributing to our carbon reduction goals; it’s a true win-win scenario”

– Edward Dixon, Head of ESG – Real Assets, Aviva Investors

As of December 2020 the programme has achieved an 18% reduction in energy consumption across the portfolio

(COVID-Adjusted) saved since 2017
+4,100 tCO2e
saved since 2017

The Company

In January 2021 Aviva Investors published its real assets net zero pathway, detailing how it will support its clients in transitioning their real asset investments to net zero emissions by 2040.

The pathway outlines the actions it will take to invest in low-carbon solutions whilst also decarbonising existing assets across its portfolio. It has already made significant progress towards its goals including partnering with Carbon Intelligence on a smart buildings programme. So far, the programme has delivered over £2.1 million in cost savings since 2017 and contributed to the 62% reduction in Aviva Investors’ carbon emissions since 2015.

The smart buildings programme set out with the aim of future-proofing Aviva Investors’ assets, optimising operational efficiency and continuing to drive energy and cost savings across the portfolio.

The success has been achieved through strong collaboration between Aviva Investors, Carbon Intelligence, Colliers, Cushman and Wakefield, JLL, and the BNP Paribas Real Estate (BNP PRE) property management teams.

The business case for smart buildings

Smart building technology continually collects and analyses BMS, air quality and energy consumption data to provide clear insight into building performance and interrogate potentially energy wasting anomalies.

It allows for remote monitoring which proved crucial in managing assets during the COVID-19 lockdown – helping save over £500,000 and 700 tonnes of carbon in the Aviva Investors portfolio between April and June 2020.

These programmes play an essential role in not only ensuring buildings run efficiently but also in improving the quality and comfort of a building to support the tenant engagement programmes and improve occupier wellbeing. Smart buildings can extend the life of plant and equipment, saving cost and embodied carbon from replacements.

The Programme

Aviva Investors had a need for data driven insight to better understand the overall performance of its buildings but to also uncover energy saving opportunities to drive carbon emissions reduction. Through initial audits Carbon Intelligence and Aviva Investors identified six key sites where energy consumption was above the sector benchmark and prioritised these sites to pilot smart building technology and start monitoring building performance.

One of the first key sites in the programme was the Corn Exchange, Manchester. Our team was tasked with reducing the energy consumption on site, and within one-year reduced energy consumption by 42% and have, since September 2016, generated £578,268 worth of verified savings.

The programme has since been rolled out to 9 more sites, saving a total of £2.1 million and over 4,100 tCO2e across the UK, achieving verified (COVID -adjusted) net savings of £1,568,972.

The ongoing optimisation managed service ensures savings are maintained over time, as well as providing monitoring for fault detection and comfort control.  Continued engagement of key stakeholders via monthly engineer engagement is central to the energy management of sites and keeping staff focused on improving energy performance and driving Aviva Investor’s overall net zero ambition.

Key Benefits

COVID-19 Response

In 2020 the entire world faced an unprecedented challenge in COVID-19. Our smart building programme enabled Aviva Investors to shut down its buildings safely and efficiently and reduced energy usage at some sites by up 70%, saving over £500,000 and 700 tCO2e across the portfolio.

The programme is now being used to manage successful reoccupation across Aviva Investors’ portfolio. The smart building programme is used to report on occupancy and air quality data, giving tenants the confidence, they need to feel safe to return to work.




Net Zero

The programme has reduced the carbon intensity of complex buildings and highlighted future CAPEX and OPEX opportunities for further decarbonisation.

Tenant Engagement

Aviva Investors has highlighted to its tenants that sustainability initiatives can reduce energy costs, improve comfort, and improve the environmental performance of the building.

Improved Operations

Across each building; the programme has increased the life cycle of equipment, improved maintenance processes, and lowered the running cost of the asset.


The programme has helped buildings to responded well to COVID requirements and aligned performance to climate science targets.


The success of the programme can be attributed to strong collaboration between the building teams, Aviva Investors, tenants, and our in-house engineers.


Decarbonising buildings is often one of the most tangible ways a company can start moving towards achieving a net zero target.

Aviva Investors aims to reduce real estate carbon intensity by 30% and energy intensity by 10 per cent by 2025. The smart building optimisation programme will continue to deliver cost and carbon savings year on year against this target and will support carbon emissions reductions for their clients at a portfolio level.

Services used in this case study