Landsec achieves zero-waste-to-landfill goal

Property developer Landsec has achieved its zero-waste-to-landfill ambition and is within touching distance of its 2020 target of recycling three-quarters of its waste, having sent 74.9% to be recycled in 2017.

The achievement was announced in the latest iteration of the firm’s annual report, released on Monday (11 June), which states that Landsec avoided £2.5m in landfill tax last year by sending all waste to be recycled or for use at energy plants. 

The bold target was achieved by aligning the company with circular economy principles and through researching and installing innovative waste management schemes, the report notes, citing the recently installed onsite anaerobic food digesters at three of Landsec’s shopping centres as an example.

The digesters can each break down up to one tonne of food waste a day and turn it into wastewater, ensuring no food waste from the malls is taken to landfill.

“In a year that saw the tragedy at Grenfell Tower and the collapse of Carillion, the importance of good governance, long-term thinking and a wider social purpose has been brought sharply into focus,” Landsec’s chief executive Robert Noel said.

“From climate change to social inclusion, sustainability is so critical to our future that we embed it in every part of the business.”

The report also notes that Landsec is on track to achieve its aim of cutting its carbon intensity by 40% by 2030 against a 2013-2014 baseline. As the firm strives towards a science-based target to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050 against the same baseline, it has already achieved a 28.6% reduction, the report states.

Landsec attributes its success in carbon reduction to the firm’s energy management programme, which has seen energy efficiency measures implemented at the developer’s offices and retail sites, combined with the ongoing decarbonisation of the UK’s national grid. In 2017, it also signed up to report in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

Solar shopping malls

The London-based corporation also upped its onsite renewable electricity capacity to 1.4MW in 2017, largely thanks to the installation of a giant rooftop solar system at its White Rose shopping centre in Leeds last August.

The installation, which was entirely self-funded by Landsec despite an eight-year payback period, will generate 680MWh of power a year and will supply 39% of the daytime electricity used in the mall areas of the shopping centre. By August, the PV system will have reduced the centre’s carbon emissions by 250 tonnes – the equivalent of more than 500,000 miles of car emissions.

After completing the White Rose project along with a smaller solar array at the Trinity shopping centre in Leeds last year, Landsec plans to fund more onsite generation as it progresses towards its 2030 goal of a 3MW renewable power capacity and has identified four sites for additional solar installations.

It is additionally “actively looking” into energy storage at a number of its sites, again with an emphasis on its shopping centres, which tend to have more space to house the large batteries.

Landsec’s energy manager Charles Sainsbury previously told edie that storage is “critical” for the firm’s energy security, adding that his team is “constantly” looking at opportunities to bring in battery storage across its portfolio.

Sarah George

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