Promoting sustainable travel at UK shopping centres

Greening our property portfolio

Responsible property investment has gained momentum among real estate investors over the past few years. Against a backdrop of rising resource and energy costs, charges for carbon emissions and tighter business margins, tenants are increasingly aware of the efficiency of the buildings they occupy. They are beginning to look for buildings that provide better value in terms of reducing environmental impact and occupancy costs.

However, this concept is nothing new for PRUPIM, which has been an industry flag-bearer for sustainability for many years. PRUPIM actively strives to shape industry initiatives in responsible property investment and the response to the climate change agenda through involvement in a number of steering groups including the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.

PRUPIM’s responsible property investment successes in 2012 include a 17 per cent cut in annual CO2 emissions intensity at the largest offices in its funds’ portfolios and a 16 per cent reduction at UK shopping centres. 80 per cent of waste from fund owned shopping centres was diverted from landfill, as was 49 per cent of waste from major offices.

The Mall at Cribbs Causeway is part of south-west England’s largest retail complex and attracts more than 12 million visitors annually. The centre is jointly owned by PRUPIM, JT Baylis and Capital Shopping Centres and is managed by PRUPIM. Over the last eight years it has made considerable progress to reduce its environmental impact. Between 2004 and 2011 energy consumption has been reduced by 46 per cent, saving tenants nearly £1 million; and carbon emissions have been reduced by over 7,700 tonnes cumulatively over that period.

A wide range of measures has been put in place to achieve these savings, which include moving to natural ventilation and reducing the use of air conditioning, turning off roof lights, reducing back-of-house lighting and introducing lighting zones in car parks to reduce the need for lighting at night. Escalators also only run during opening hours. Significant work has also been undertaken to promote sustainable transport, including a purpose-built bus station for around 95,000 bus journeys a year. Real-time information screens have also been added. The innovative Cribbs Causeway Travel Card gives unlimited discount travel for employees, while the Mall also has a car-share club and provides electric vehicle charging points.

‘At PRUPIM we see responsible property investment as an integral part of our commitment to enhancing fund and asset performance for our clients,’ says Louise Ellison, Manager, Responsible Property Investment at PRUPIM. ‘Driving improvements in environmental performance is a critical part of this process and we continue to work closely with our partners to ensure the efficiencies we achieve in 2013 maintain and build on those of 2012.’

Protecting the environment