At Bruntwood Works, we know we have a responsibility to support our cities and towns with climate change. We’ve made significant commitments to improving the environmental impact of our buildings today in order to sustain the long term future of where we live tomorrow.
Our investment into resilient futures has meant building smart, over half of buildings today will still be standing in 2050 so building them in more sustainable ways is vital. Looking back at what’s already been built, we’re proud to recycle and we have a reputation for creating beautiful spaces from unloved older buildings that may otherwise have been demolished and rebuilt. We’re interrogating what we can do throughout our existing portfolio to bring it to the highest level of sustainability. This involves trialling all sorts of initiatives, it’s not just about the big idea but also working on a humanscale to promote everyday sustainability and to inspire and enable our customers, such as our work with Farm Urban at Liverpool’s Cotton Exchange. This pioneering organisation uses innovative technologies to sustainably feed our communities, we’ve partnered with them to create the first UK workspace with an edible wall. We strive to create the best environment for our customers, and whilst the driving ambition at Cotton Exchange is one of sustainability, it’s also about a positive work experience.
At Hatch, a zero waste to landfill site, we’re eradicating single-use plastics and our traders take our Green Pledge. This promises no plastic bottles or straws on-site at the food and retail destination, and that waste is recycled efficiently - oil waste is turned into biofuel and general waste is sent via the refuse-derived fuel network to generate electricity, therefore, avoiding the landfill.
Other everyday practices we’re championing or pioneering include the use of reverse vending machines which encourage recycling and a change of attitude towards it, working with our retailers to turn their used coffee grounds into sustainable logs, and harnessing the power of solar panels to deliver sustainable energy to power our buildings. Our use of photovoltaics, or solar panels, will allow us to create, and eventually store, energy so that we can achieve 100% renewable electricity for our estate as part of our pledge to reduce absolute carbon production 50% by 2030.
Across our retail customers, there’s been great strides towards a more sustainable retail experience including more conscious fashion choices and initiatives. We’ve seen the likes of H&M reward customers for recycling old clothes in-store, and BrewDog which became the first international beer business to become carbon negative. Other ethical retailers include Earth Friendly Rocker based at Afflecks plant a tree for every sale, and Stretford Foodhall which prioritises local, organic and zero-waste packaging. We’ve also developed partnerships with a number of businesses who align themselves with our sustainability values so that we can deliver sustainable markets, recycle at an industrial scale, and promote sustainability within our communities through educational workshops delivered by the likes of Y Food and Farm Urban.
We know a seismic change is needed, so we’re building something we can be proud of.
On a grander scale, we've pledged to be net zero carbon by 2030 for all areas under our direct control including receptions and shared spaces. A demonstration of this commitment is at Didsbury Technology Park where we’re building our first net zero carbon workspace. This has required a new approach to designing and building to ensure sustainability is woven into every aspect of the space. We hope that this project will become a blueprint for future NZC developments across our portfolio.
Over time we hope to eliminate the need for high volumes of car parking spaces at the site, and whilst we actively encourage and enable our customers to travel to work by foot or by bike, we’re working on a wider scale to support the increasing popularity of electric cars. The commute is an opportunity to bring together Smart technology and sustainability, and in July 2020 Bruntwood began a two-year government-funded project in partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to create a Local Energy Market for the region. We’ll trial a number of smart-controlled electric vehicle chargers which will be available to Bruntwood Works customers and the wider public. This will allow us to protect both the building and local energy infrastructure by monitoring power consumption and adjusting the delivered power to ensure a balanced, sustainable and safe energy system.
Every change we make in one building, or one city will become the model for us to replicate in others, and whilst we’re proud to lead within our industry, we hope that in the near future the innovative sustainability practices we are putting in place will become the accepted norm for all developers and that we are all conscious of, and contributing to, a resilient future.