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News Release

BCSC, Manchester

Shopping Centres Must Innovate to Hit Green Targets

BCSC and Manchester, 19th September 2011: It is crucial that retailers and landlords work together to ensure that shopping centres play their part in hitting the UK’s legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, according to a new report commissioned by BCSC. 
The research, Accelerating Change Towards Low Carbon Shopping Centres is being published today (19 September) to coincide with BCSC’s Annual Conference & Exhibition in Manchester, and will be discussed at a seminar on the topic tomorrow at 14.00.
BCSC is now looking towards developing further guidance so that all involved in the operation and occupation of shopping centres can quickly grasp the principles of how to most effectively reduce carbon emissions.
Shopping centres have improved efficiency by a third in the last eight years, mostly by low or zero cost efficiency measures. But if they are to hit the 2050 targets reductions must continue at a rate of 2.5% a year. The report’s findings make clear that for this to happen, retailers and landlords will have to commit to investing capital in major carbon reduction measures.

The report found the key areas that need to be addressed centre around government policy, organisational structure and practical implementation of carbon reduction schemes.

The report predicts that the combination of rising energy costs and legislative drivers will simply have to push carbon reduction up the corporate agenda.
Angus McIntosh, Chair of the BCSC Low Carbon Working Group and a Director at Jones Lang LaSalle, urged landlords and tenants to look beyond the “low hanging fruit” of quick wins and towards long-term savings that require real capital investment.
Mr McIntosh said: “The industry has done a great deal to reduce its carbon footprint, but we have to be realistic about where to go from here. We need to see an acceleration in terms of the way assets are managed sustainably. This will require investment, but with rising energy costs and improving technology can also result in savings.”

Companies are now beginning to look at a “whole life costing” approach to determine the payback of current technologies, and at the same time are seeing the potential for long term operational savings by cutting energy use.
Stores are rarely re-fitted to improve energy efficiency, but when re-fits happen they can be an ideal opportunity to reduce carbon emissions, both in the construction
process and when the unit is in use.
The report warns of “misaligned objectives” with lower initial costs for less energy efficient fit-outs compared to higher up-front costs for fit-outs which consume less energy and would therefore have lower running costs in operation.
It is “crucial” that landlords and tenants and tenants work together if efficiency is to be increased. Communication must be improved so that the actions of tenants and landlords do not have an adverse impact on each other’s initiatives.

The report is critical of Government policy for a lack of measures to that focus on the key areas and changes to the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), which McIntosh
labels as confusing and complicated.
Philippa Latimer, public affairs manager at BCSC, said the organisation wanted to provide guidance to members swamped under a “minefield of advice” that led to a
lack of awareness about which measures really work.
She said: “We cannot overstate just how important landlord-tenant relationships are in enabling shopping centres to operate as efficiently as possible. Communication about
what each other have planned is key.
“Landlords work with retailers trialling all kinds of different technologies, so they are perfectly positioned to share knowledge between retailers about what technologies
work in what conditions and how much they cost to put in place.”
Concepts, such as understanding how energy flows within a property or store, can help prioritise what action needs to be taken. In the same way that household appliances come with a user operating manual, the report suggests there is an argument that shopping centres and retail stores should
have ‘operating manuals’ – which could then be shared to promote best practice.