UBS to power UK headquarters with solar as part of 100% renewable pledge

UBS will power its new central London headquarters using rooftop solar panels as part of a green transformation that has also seen the financial firm commit to using 100% renewable energy by 2020.

UBS will move into the 5 Broadgate office near Liverpool Street station in 2016. These offices have been fitted with a 138kWp rooftop array consisting of 576 panels offsetting more than 57 tonnes of C02 and generating around 108,000KWh each year in the process.

The 12-storey building, which consists of 700 sq.ft of green roof space, was restricted to a maximum height of 75 metres due to the fact that no structures can obstruct the view of St Paul’s Cathedral. This meant that solar panel supplier EvoEnergy had to place the PV panels at a maximum angle no greater than five degrees.

EvoEnergy’s project manager James Sutton said: “The finished product not only represents a remarkable feat of engineering by incorporating a uniquely bespoke PV system on one of the most striking building in the banking quarter of London, but also sends a message that no matter how crowded a roof may be, there are ways and means to negotiate any obstacle or obstruction to promote renewable energy at a time when we should be thinking about the environment with every step towards new constructions.“

100% renewable

The announcement of the new rooftop solar system comes in the same week that UBS has signed up to RE100 – a global initiative to get the world’s most influential companies running solely on renewable power.

As part of RE100, UBS has pledged to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, reducing its greenhouse gas footprint by 75% compared to 2004 base levels.

In the past 10 years, UBS has reduced its global footprint by more than 50%. The firm already buys 100% of its electricity from renewable sources in the UK, Germany and Switzerland.

Caroline Anstey, global head of UBS and Society, said: “With our commitment to renewable energy our goal is to take a leadership role and help create demand for renewable energy across the globe. Reducing our own footprint is a key commitment within our climate change strategy, which also focuses on investments, financing, research and risk management.”

UBS has previously underlined its positivity towards the renewables revolution, urging investors to become catalysts in a move towards electric cars, solar technology and alike.  

Matt Mace

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