Sustainability: Reinventing with the planet in mind
With the effects of climate change impacting all our lives, Bruntwood recognises its role to regenerate places in a sustainable way. The UK Green Building Council found that the built environment is currently responsible for 40% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. It also found that 80% of the buildings we’ll have in 2050 have already been built, so a major priority is decarbonising our existing stock - a key part of our pathway to net zero.
Championing a net-zero future, Bruntwood restores existing buildings wherever possible, and when it’s time to start from scratch, we want to make sure our properties are best-in-class for sustainability. From smart technologies that capture weather-related data (so we can heat and cool our buildings) to strategies for reducing carbon emissions, our properties help us to understand and build resilience to climate change.
Every Little Helps
It’s not just about the big picture; the small day-to-day actions all add up too. That’s why we support our colleagues, customers and partners to make conscious decisions which have a meaningful, positive impact on the environment. Our ‘Cycle to Work Scheme’; travel loans that support colleagues using public transport; sustainability-focused investment; and volunteering via The Oglesby Charitable Trust are just some of the actions we’ve taken that foster an eco-conscious way of living and working.
To emphasise our commitment to sustainability, in 2018 Bruntwood became the first property company in the UK to sign up to the UK Green Building Council’s Advancing Net Zero Programme. We pledged that all areas under our direct control - so, our own offices, communal areas of our buildings, and our entire vehicle fleet - will operate at net zero carbon by 2030.
In order to reach our targets, we need a clear picture of how we’re doing today and what needs to change moving forward. So, we set ourselves science-based targets (SBTs), in collaboration with The Carbon Trust. We now measure and report carbon emissions in all our commercial activities. Plus, we have targets related to our water, waste, energy, emissions, sustainable materials, transportation, and green spaces and biodiversity.
In Didsbury, we’re building the UK’s lowest carbon new build workspace - Ev0. This fully electric building will have a unique, sustainably-sourced, timber frame that locks in high volumes of carbon. Smart technology inside the building will allow us to control the temperature and air quality, helping to reduce energy wastage - and customers will be able to track their energy usage.
We’re also investing heavily in renewable energy and, in 2022, Bruntwood purchased an industry-first 42.4% share in Kirk Hill wind farm, based in Ayrshire, Scotland. That means that by spring 2024, we’ll be able to fulfil 80% of Bruntwood's current electricity demand through renewable energy - a huge milestone in achieving our net zero ambitions and supporting the industry's transition to sustainable energy.
By continuing to embed sustainability into our business, we’re confident that we’ll add to our successes - winning Commercial Developer of the Year for 2022 and Recycled/Refurbished Workspace of the Year for Bloc.
Fit for the future
We’re proud to be supporters of the move to a net zero carbon built environment, and to showcase our innovative solutions to reducing carbon emissions, such as our use of solar panels, smart blue-green roof technology and our extensive building efficiency project. Through these actions, we’re highlighting our firm belief in protecting the environment for generations to come.
For the rest of Earth Month 2023, we’ll be placing a spotlight on our Sustainability Champions - colleagues who help us to drive sustainability across Bruntwood, as well as the initiatives that will help us to reach our net zero targets.
Keep an eye on our socials for more…