The challenge


The accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere as a result of human activities from the burning of fossil fuels is increasingly believed to be responsible for exacerbating climate change, resulting in global temperature warming, water shortages and the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events.

While much remains to be learned, the core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious scientific debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations. Consequently, the debate is shifting onto ways to reduce further human impact and to adapt to change that has already occurred and is anticipated to occur in the future.

As governments proceed to mitigate the impacts on global climate change, regulations on the energy consumption and GHG emissions of buildings are becoming more stringent. Furthermore, there continues to be significant upward pressure on global fossil fuel reserves which is likely to increase the cost of energy over the long term and contribute to growing volatility in global oil and gas markets. Consequently, high-energy consuming and carbon-emitting buildings are likely to become less attractive to investors and occupiers in the future. On the contrary, more eco-efficient, low-carbon assets which generate their own energy on-site from renewable sources are likely to sustain their value in the long-term.

Our strategy


In view of this, Sonae Sierra’s approach is two-fold: on the one hand we have implemented several initiatives and are developing and studying new ways of improving our energy efficiency and consumption to minimise our contribution to climate change and global warming; on the other we aim to address specific climate change adaptation priorities for each business activity.

In 2006, we developed a climate change strategy to reduce our direct and indirect GHG emissions. This covers scopes 1 and 2 and business air travel (part of scope 3) according to the guidelines of the GHG protocol developed by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Increasing the energy efficiency of our activities – and in particular of our buildings – constitutes one of the main strategies to help us to achieve our GHG emissions reduction goal.

Following a study conducted in 2013 study to explore the business case for climate change adaptation we are pursuing a number of soft adaptation measures. These include, for example, integrating climate change risk adaptation procedures into our current risk management processes and updating our acquisition checklist to ensure key risks related to weather related events are evaluated.

Please click here to see more information on what Sonae Sierra is doing about Energy and Climate.

Our long-term objectives



  • Achieve an 85% reduction in GHG emissions per m2 of GLA, by 2020, compared to the 2005 level (GHG protocol scopes 1 and 2, plus business air travel).

  • Strive to increase the energy efficiency of our operations, aiming to attain a maximum average electricity consumption of 400 kWh/m2 (mall and toilet area) per year across sierra owned shopping centres, by 2020.

  • Implement climate change adaption measures identified in our 2013 climate change study, by 2020.


Our performance, up until 31 December 2014










To see our historical performance and further performance indicators related to Energy and Climate, click here.

For examples of our Energy and Climate initiatives in action, see Case Studies.

Note: At the "Sustainability" all information is comprehensive and refer to the Sierra and its shopping centers in the various countries in which it operates, including Brazil.