Land Securities has committed to a number of new ambitious carbon emissions and energy reduction targets following a year which saw the commercial landlord cut its total energy consumption by 3%.
As one of the largest listed commercial property company in the UK, Land Securities’ portfolio includes retail parks and shopping centres around the UK as well as a number of high profile office and retail properties in London.
The company says it was able to reduce its total energy use – down 6% since the baseline year of 2013/14 – via active energy management. This includes a series of measures implemented at Land Securities’ six highest energy-consuming properties in London.
Following initial reports of a 9% fall in energy use at five of its buildings in the capital, the company’s latest Sustainability Report shows that 43 measures have been implemented, realising savings of approximately £120,000 in the year. This has helped to contribute to an overall energy reduction of almost 7,000 MWh compared to the previous year.
In retail, like-for-like energy consumption fell by 1% during the year due to a combination of operational efficiencies at a local level and the physical upgrading and replacement of infrastructure.
At Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, Land Securities recommissioned a natural ventilation system which has enabled the property to turn off the air conditioning on the malls altogether, resulting in a 13% reduction in energy consumption.
Throughout the year the landlord also engaged with a number of occupiers to complete energy audits, going beyond landlord-controlled areas to complete joint energy saving initiatives such as intelligent lighting controls and the installation of heating and cooling systems linked to occupancy sensors to reduce consumption.
Following this progress and buoyed by the company’s presence at COP21 in December, Land Securities has set a new target of reducing its energy intensity (kWh/ m2) by 40% by 2030 compared to a 2013/14 baseline, for property under its management for at least two years. As well as the company’s energy use as landlord, this target also covers the energy used by its customers when sub-metered from landlord supplies.
This will contribute towards another of the company’s new targets, namely a reduction in carbon intensity (kgCO2/m2) of 40% in the same period – also for property under our management for at least two years - with a longer-term ambition of an 80% reduction by 2050.
The report states: “Lowering energy demand at our assets is a key area for us in terms of decarbonising our portfolio. We’re sharing the benefits of greater efficiency with our customers, helping them to meet regulatory obligations and reduce their energy bills.”
The company’s ability to achieve this goal has been helped by its adoption of 100% renewable electricity across the group’s portfolio following a new contract with SmartestEnergy, which came into force on 1 April 2016. This also aided the firm in its efforts under the RE100 scheme, which it signed up to in October 2015.
Robert Groves, chief executive of SmartestEnergy, said: “We are very pleased to supply land securities with 100% renewable energy. They have demonstrated a real commitment to renewables, leading the way in the UK property sector by being the first British real estate company to join the RE100.”
As well as procuring 100% green energy, the commercial landlord has also increased its own self-generation capacity, producing approximately 1.84GWh of heat and power from the renewables installed across its portfolio.
The firm has already committed to building on its solar PV capacity with new installations at a number of locations. This will include a 785kWp array at White Rose, Leeds which will produce more than 633MWh per annum, accounting for approximately 20% of the entire landlord’s consumption on the site.
More planned solar installations at The Galleria in Hatfield and Cambridge Leisure Centre have the potential to produce 423MWh and 100MWh per annum respectively and account for 5% and 18.5% of the landlord’s consumption at each site.
Additional plans for the coming year include further reductions in waste to landfill, with 98.6% currently diverted. Land Securities is to also conduct energy reduction assessments at certain sites to further its existing energy management programme.