Healthy Retail

17/02/2016

Sarah Beattie, Senior Environment & Energy Manager, discusses why the retail sector must be more ‘healthy’.

The property industry is increasingly aware of the need to focus on health and happiness when creating commercial office spaces to ensure employee wellbeing and a happy workforce. In 2014 the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), led by a project team from the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), published the global report Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices: The Next Chapter for Green Buildings. The report raised awareness of this important topic and set out a framework for organisations to measure the impact buildings have on their employees.

Land Securities has demonstrated its commitment to this ethos through careful and considerate occupier-focused buildings. We design our buildings to be thoughtful, with a number of innovative features, amenities and public spaces to ensure a healthy workplace which in turn helps to boost productivity and attract talent.

Earlier this month the WorldGBC launched its follow-up campaign 'Better Places for People', which Land Securities co-sponsored, to build on the foundation provided by the report and to ensure that these principles can be adopted by other building types such as retail stores and residential properties. The report, Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Retail: The Impact of Green Buildings on People and Profit, says that although the property sector is aware of the importance of health when creating office space, many retailers are a little less aware of how the physical retail environment can affect staff and customers. The report aims to help retailers see the link between environmental and economic performance through a more guided and considered approach.

Retailers are starting to realise that creating environmentally sensitive buildings may be a missed opportunity which can greatly improve the consumer experience. As a consequence, those who invest in, develop and manage retail property are particularly keen to understand the relationship between sustainable store design, the health of staff and customers, footfall and sales. This report presents ways in which retailers can not only measure their data, particularly around consumer behaviour, which may already be available at their fingertips, but also translate it to help design and manage properties better.

Greener, healthier retail stores - those which typically have good levels of daylight, fresh air and greenery - are not only more attractive to consumers but could also prove more profitable for retailers. At Land Securities we shall be exploring ways to put the findings from the report into action, to assess what works and what doesn’t. We are confident that the report will provide a common language between both landlord and retailer in driving environmental performance in retail spaces.

This blog was first published on Land Securities' website here.