Britain's 'biggest landlord' to go carbon neutral

One of the United Kingdom's largest property developers has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2008/9, according to a report published on Wednesday.

In its new Corporate Responsibility Report, British Land PLC outlines its initiatives aimed at reducing energy and associated CO2 emissions in landlord-controlled areas.

In 2006, energy usage reduced by 4% across the portfolio and water by 16 per cent. The biggest CO2 improvements came from the London Offices portfolio. Meadowhall Shopping Centre, one of British Land's largest assets, reduced energy consumption by 11%. The report also sets ambitious targets for 2007 in areas including biodiversity, waste management and community involvement.

Stephen Hester, chief executive of British Land, said: "We are taking an activist approach, stepping up existing efforts and aim to lead the market in developing and managing buildings in a sustainable manner."

British Land said that going carbon neutral does not signal a change in strategy, but an acceleration of existing policy, and aims to incentivise the business to focus on resource reduction.

Outlined in the company's Corporate Responsibility Report, the carbon neutral drive is made up of three elements: continued management and reduction of direct emissions; reduction of the carbon content of energy supply - installing turbines and solar panels and investing in combined heat, power and cooling sources; and off-setting.

"By financing, developing and managing properties that responsibly utilise energy, water and waste, we conserve the world's resources and can also reduce our costs and those of our occupiers," Stephen Hester said.

The British Land Company is one of the largest property development and investment companies in the United Kingdom. At the end of 2006, the company's investment portfolio was valued at £16.4 billion with more than half of the portfolio invested in retail, making it Britain's biggest retail landlord.

The complete 2006 Corporate Responsibility Report can be accessed here.

Dana Gornitzki



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