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JLL Research highlights smarter technologies in energy and sustainable shopping centre management
London, 14th October 2014- Research undertaken by JLL’s Retail Management team has found that solar panels, LED lighting, electric vehicle charge points and new technology that harvests ‘people power,’ are at the top of centre manager’s wish lists for 2015 shopping centre budgets.
JLL’s survey of 125 shopping centres sought to examine the impact of sustainability legislation and property requirements, and asked centre managers about operational service charge trends and their property management budget requirements for 2015.
Key findings show that there is a genuine race, amongst shopping centre management teams, for sustainability resilience for their schemes. Over 85 per cent of respondents reported lowering of energy costs due to a reduction in Kwh. Over 90 per cent of centres have implemented low cost/non-cost energy saving initiatives from rain harvesting to Automatic Meter Reading metering and waste management schemes to reduce landfill costs. Over 50 centres have been accredited with environmental management system certifications and an average of 10 per cent of marketing budgets being spent on community engagement projects.
However, while the survey revealed that retailers are concerned with green operations in their individual stores within shopping centres, they are less engaged with energy use in communal centre areas. Findings suggest that there is more scope for engagement with occupiers at the fit-out stage to ensure that there is a less siloed approach to energy use in centre spaces.
JLL also predicts that there is likely to be more intensive reviews of the way energy will be used in shopping centre spaces, an increase in local power stations and more ‘off-grid’ local energy sources to service local communities.
Catherine Lambert, Chairman of JLL’s UK Retail Management team, commented: “The survey shows that sustainability, through better use of energy and more community engagement, comes top of the centre manager priority list of considerations for their property. Creating resilience through adaptability of services and energy procurement is the most important thing, as evolving technology means that there are going to be increasingly new and innovative ways of harnessing energy.
“As we have seen in the survey, schemes such as ‘Pavegen,’ which harvests kinetic energy from every footstep on specially designed paving stones, are examples of cutting edge energy schemes and usage currently in shopping centres. Over the next twenty years we will see the development of techniques and theories from research such as that into Metamaterials which are artificially engineered to have properties not found in nature. This will have wide ranging applications for smarter solar power and it will be exciting to see the new technologies that evolve from this science. ”
Chairman - Retail Management
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