Hammerson, one of Europe's leading owners and developers of prime shopping centers, has cut carbon emissions across its portfolio as a result of a series of energy-saving initiatives implemented in the UK and France.
The Company set a baseline year of 2006 against which to measure its carbon emissions, targeting a 19% reduction in its UK portfolio and an 11% reduction in France by 2010. Since 2006, it has to date achieved like-for-like reductions of 16% in its UK shopping center portfolio; 20% in offices; and 17% in French shopping centers. Hammerson has put in place an environmental initiatives programme which, when complete, is expected to achieve carbon emission savings of around 40% at its UK shopping centers.
The results are published in Hammerson's 2009 Corporate Responsibility Report, other highlights of which include:
Skills Shops set up by Hammerson in conjunction with the National Skills Academy for Retail near the Company's shopping centres in Birmingham, Bristol and Leicester. Skills Shops are designed to promote opportunities for local unemployed people and ensure retailers have access to a pool of skilled workers. The initiative is an extension of training programmes set up to support shopping center openings, which have resulted in 3,000 previously unemployed people gaining jobs in Hammerson shopping centers in the last 10 years.
698 Green Leases signed with retailers and office occupiers since the lease's introduction in 2007. Around a fifth of Hammerson's passing rent is now covered by a Green clause.
Creation of the Hammerson Design Standard, a series of 15 sustainability commitments for new developments. This includes external benchmarks such as BREEAM and the Code for Sustainable Homes; incorporation of water and energy sub-meters; and Green Leases; and procurement and monitoring of suppliers.
Cost savings as a result of environmental initiatives. Around 53% of waste in UK shopping centers is now recycled, with 94% of waste from offices averted from landfill, resulting in over £400,000 of savings in landfill tax and income from the sale of waste.
Development of an externally-certified environmental training course, used to train 85 people at WestQuay, Southampton. Environmental training will be rolled out across the portfolio as part of Hammerson's aim to achieve ISO 14001 for each property. Environmental training was also given to 92 staff in France in 2009.
Jobs for U, the skills training programme to support the opening of Union Square shopping center in Aberdeen, delivered strong results. Of the 1,200 people employed at the center, 56% were previously unemployed.
79% of UK staff and 98% of French staff completed a staff survey, with 86% of employees saying they are proud to work for Hammerson and think the Company takes care to manage its environmental and social impacts. Feedback from the survey is being used to make improvements to working life.
Paul Edwards, Head of Sustainability said: "We continue to implement programmes which reduce costs and improve efficiency for our customers and other stakeholders, so ensuring the longevity of our operations. In 2009 we made major progress in our carbon reduction programs, and are on track to achieve a 19% reduction in our UK portfolio and an 11% reduction in France by the end of 2010. Our energy reductions also mean that Hammerson is relatively well placed ahead of the introduction of the Carbon Reduction Commitments Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRCEES) in the UK and the anticipated Carbon Tax in France. We extended the reach of our education programmes, creating Skills Shops in the vicinity of three Hammerson shopping centers to provide training for long-term unemployed people and plan to roll out this programme to more cities in 2010. In 2010 our focus remains on sustainability solutions which reduce costs for our occupiers and for ourselves. We also aim to increase our understanding of our suppliers' sustainability profile so that we can manage operational risk."