British Land and Segro, formerly Slough Estates, have pledged to use carbon offsetting to reduce their impact on the environment at the Think 07 conference

British Land chief executive Stephen Hester said the company, which has a market capitalisation of £7.9bn, is searching for credible offsetting schemes to help it achieve its ambition of becoming carbon neutral by the start of the financial year 2007/08.

'We are putting significant work into finding credible suppliers,' said Hester. 'We have got a year and we are using the time to find the right answer.'

Offsetting schemes have been criticised for lacking accountability and for allowing companies to continue polluting the atmosphere.

Hester welcomed the ongoing government consultation on the regulation of offsetting schemes. He emphasised that British Land would want to keep offsetting to a minimum, but added that because it will pay a price for the carbon it produces, the company will have an incentive to go on reducing emissions.

British Land's flagship development of 822,000 sq ft (76,365 sq m) at 201 Bishopsgate and the Broadgate Tower in London will surpass existing regulations on energy efficiency by 29%, Hester said.

Speaking from the same platform, Segro chief executive Ian Coull said: 'Offsetting will be part of what we're going to do [in response to climate change].'

Segro has adopted whole-life costing for all new developments, which includes using only brownfield sites at accessible locations, Coull said.

The Think 07 conference runs from 1-3 May at the Excel centre in London. For more details go to