Canary Wharf Group slashes emissions through technology and ISO frameworks

Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has boosted its energy efficiency credentials during the past year through improved building energy performance and the implementation of an energy management system to help measure, monitor and improve efficiency across the business.

In its annual sustainability report released this week, the property developer highlights that energy-saving initiatives in 2015 across the estate led to a 7% reduction in both office and retail greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

CWG achieved accreditation to ISO 50001 energy management certification in October 2015, and identified further opportunities to improve efficiency through a number of technology advancements. For instance, the firm replaced car park lighting with more energy-efficient systems and introduced a major LED lighting upgrade in shopping malls, while 100% electricity used came from renewable sources.

CWG chief executive Sir George Iacobescu said: “Our vision is to inspire positive impact by developing and sustaining places where high-quality architecture and community placemaking principles combine with excellent customer service, safety and security, for the benefit of all our stakeholders.

“To make this vision a reality, we apply best practice principles, and seek efficient, low-impact solutions in the design, construction and management of our properties. Our approach is to enhance our positive impact on communities and the environment local to our estate through economic opportunity, community programmes and corporate leadership.”

Grand designs

The report highlights that group-level energy use rose by 18% to 97.4m kWh last year, as Crossrail and 25 Churchill Place were added to the portfolio. However, the developer states that consumption per occupant/visitor across comparable office and retail buildings fell 6% and 9% respectively, thanks largely to a number of actions taken to mitigate increases in energy use, such as LED lighting upgrades and solar PV installations.

CWG has attempted to reduce the amount of water in its operations through a variety of schemes such as greywater recycling systems and water-efficient fittings in new buildings. The latter is reportedly set to enable 25-30 Churchill Place to reduce 40% water consumption in comparison with a typical office building. These initiatives have led to a total water usage at CWG of 426,733m3 during 2015.

The UK Green Building Council founding member generated 258,060 tonnes of waste in 2015, a significant rise that is attributed largely to the increase in construction projects such as Crossrail. The amount of material recycled increased by 15% to 97.68%, with almost all the remaining 1.36% composted, sent for anaerobic digestion or incinerated with energy generation.

Smart-city innovation

CWG’s latest CSR report details a series of energy-efficient, low-carbon innovations established by the developer to improve sustainability in the Canary Wharf area. Last summer, CWG carried out a major lighting upgrade on its property portfolio, saving more than £400,000 and over 1,951 tonnes of carbon annually.

In recent months, CWG has seen its landmark project, the Walkie-Talkie skyscraper, awarded a BREEAM Excellent rating, making it one of the most sustainable buildings in central London. The property-management branch of the group has also seen its managed portfolio send zero-waste to landfill for the past five years.

Additionally, the developer plays a central role in smart-city innovation through its involvement with the Cognicity Challenge, which sees pioneering ideas piloted on the Canary Wharf estate in the Docklands. That project has already trialled solar-powered benchesmicro anaerobic digestion plants and intelligent building management systems, with more green schemes on the horizon.

George Ogleby

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