Hammerson launches all-encompassing Net Positive strategy

Retail property specialist Hammerson has become the first firm in its sector to launch a pan-European Net Positive strategy covering carbon, resource use and water consumption across internal and tenant operations.

Hammerson, which has partnered with the likes of Costa Coffee on innovative retail spaces, will aim to move beyond reducing negative sustainability impacts to provide “net-positive” contributions to society and the environment through its 2030 goals.

By 2030, Hammerson will attempt to reduce carbon emissions by 757,200 tonnes. This covers all carbon emissions from public malls, back-of-house space, corporate operations and business travel. Efforts will also be made to reduce emissions from tenant-procured energy, reduce embodied carbon in construction materials and from energy used during construction.

To reach this carbon goal, Hammerson will install LED lighting systems and install renewable energy systems on top of existing developments and new assets. The company will also purchase 100% renewable energy where possible.

Hammerson’s chief executive Davis Atkins said: “The ambitious targets we are setting out today demonstrate our commitment to drive change and represent the logical next step for Positive Places.

“Working with our retail tenants, contractors, consultants and suppliers we are already delivering projects that contribute to this commitment. This year, we expect to deliver our first carbon neutral development and have 100% clean electricity contracts across our UK and Ireland shopping centre portfolios.”

Hammerson’s existing Positive Place sustainability campaign has seen the firm reduce carbon emissions by 35% since 2006, while 94% of waste has been diverted from landfill since 2015. The company has also limited water use by 10,742m3 from the UK portfolio, equivalent to 240,000 showers.

Under the new Net Positive strategy, resource use – covering all operational, tenant and development waste – will be minimised by onsite recycling and reuse systems. Contractors will also be engaged to minimise demolition waste by maximising reuse and design phase will take into account ways to promote reusability and reduced consumption.

For water use, Hammerson will introduce efficiency programmes for drinking water and invest in water harvesting and recycling technologies. The company will introduce projects that either replenish water resources or recycle wastewater – recent labelled as an “underexploited” technique by the United Nations (UN). All landlord and tenant procured water, as well as water consumed during construction, will be covered by the Net Positive initiative.

Tenant and landlord relations

The company has developed incremental goals through to 2030 to achieve the Net Positive strategy. Up to 2020 Hammerson will focus on landlord controlled impacts. From 2021 to 2025 this will be extended to development impacts and the last phase will cover tenant controlled impacts.

Hammerson announced that past sustainability initiatives are already delivering “significant commercial benefits” for both the company and its retail tenants, as well as lowering medium-term energy and carbon pricing costs.

One such example of this is Hammerson’s leasing relationship with Costa and its “zero energy” eco-pod retail outlets. Hammerson leases the pod to Costa at a slightly higher rent rate due to the fact that it paid to implement a lot of the sustainable technology.

Hammerson’s environment manager Richard Quartermaine discussed the intricacies and barriers associated with tenant and landlord relationships in regards to how energy is used and consumed during an episode of edie’s Sustainable Business Covered podcast.

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Matt Mace

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