Building a community of sustainability advocates at Federated Hermes’ science and technology park, Milton Park

25 June 2024
Federated Hermes

Building a community of sustainability advocates at Federated Hermes’ science and technology park, Milton Park

25 June 2024

Key Facts

  • GWPF consists of 62 members from 45 different occupiers at MP
  • GWPF is part of MP’s sustainability strategy aiming to reduce its environmental impact and enhance its social impact
  • GWPF organises workshops, webinars and campaigns to engage with its stakeholders
  • Single occupancy car travel dropped from 70% to 63% between 2016 and 2018
  • Bus patronage numbers doubled between 2021 and 2022, from 2,200 passengers to 4,600 passengers each week
  • GWPF secured the purchase and installation of a polystyrene compactor to improve on-site segregation of waste

The Situation

Across their portfolio, Federated Hermes has been working to deliver energy efficiency and enable opportunities for collaboration between occupiers, suppliers, and other stakeholders to transition to Net Zero. The business has set out a pathway to achieve Net Zero by 2035 across their £7.35 bn Real Estate managed portfolio in the UK, identifying engagement with occupiers as a key part of this plan.

In 2017, The Greener Workplace Forum (GWPF), was established by Federated Hermes at Milton Park (MP) with the primary aim of enhancing collaborative working on sustainability matters between the MP management organisations and occupiers.


The GWPF focuses on sharing best practice, raising awareness of existing sustainability initiatives and lobbying for infrastructure improvements and funding. Their focus is across 5 categories: reducing emissions, increasing recycling, reducing waste, enhancing nature and making a positive impact on local communities.

The GWPF have set out main action points and methods of promoting their activity, including:

  • Providing a vision and shared commitment in the development and implementation of sustainability planning at MP
  • Promoting the widespread use of alternative, sustainable travel, energy use and recycling best-practice
  • Supplying a conduit to discuss sustainability-related issues and concerns
  • Delivering a mechanism for consultation on proposed measures to enhance sustainability at MP
  • Communicating and engaging with decision makers and stakeholders to build awareness and understanding of the aims and objectives of the group

By 2020 the GWPF had 62 members from 45 different organisations across the asset and each of the larger companies had at least one representative. Any of the 250 organisations on site have access to information about the GWPF, and many have been involved in supporting a variety of important causes. These include ‘Explore’ Schools Programme, the Didcot Powerhouse Fund (raising funds for local charities) and green travel events such as the annual ‘Car Free Day Challenge’ and monthly ‘Bike2Work’ events.  Milton Park is a founding member and quantum donor to Didcot Powerhouse Fund which sees many of Milton Park businesses also contributing to the fund.


The GWPF has proven its efficacy in fostering constructive dialogue with occupiers on a range of diverse issues, highlighting the advantages of collaborative efforts to generate impactful solutions together. It has successfully lobbied for various sustainability projects providing many benefits for both MP and the local area:

1. Providing affordable and accessible public transport

Many shift workers were struggling to get to and from work due to restricted bus services. By negotiating a contract with local bus operation, Oxford Bus Company, MP have been able to offer a subsidised bus pass with improved services to and from Didcot Parkway station. They have also increased the frequency of buses from Oxford and Wantage from 1 to 2 per hour, alongside extending the geographical area served. In 2022, the bus pass zone was further extended to include villages and areas within a 3-mile radius of MP.

As a result, bus patronage numbers doubled between 2021 and 2022, from 2,200 passengers each week to 4,600 passengers. Based on the estimation that 80% of these additional passengers would have driven the journey in a private vehicle if not for the bus pass, the enhanced bus service has led to an estimated 223 metric tonne reduction in carbon emissions each year.*

Recent survey feedback indicates enhanced occupier satisfaction, increased occupier retention and attraction of new occupiers, with the combination of the Milton Park bus pass and the increased bus services to Oxford and other areas.

2. Improving the cycle network in the local area

The GWPF also advocated for the local authority to establish a new cycling route to the north of MP, connecting the site to the off-road path to Abingdon where approximately 22% of MP occupiers reside. This initiative has facilitated a cycling mode share at MP which increased from 6.9% in 2019 to 10.5% in 2023. This new 1.2 km pathway is widely used, both by occupiers and local residents, to access the site by foot and cycle.

3. Ensuring waste reduction and expanding recycling opportunities

MP hosts a number of prominent life sciences firms, including a leading drug discovery alliance and development partnership company. A common issue of polystyrene waste management was identified and a solution for their day-to-day operations implemented.

Together with other science and technology firms in the surrounding area, the GWPF secured a central polystyrene compactor funded by MP. Occupiers can now deposit their polystyrene waste to the compactor, which is operated by MP’s maintenance teams.


  • As a result of improving the public bus connections and timetable for workers at MP, cost-benefit analysis suggests a return on investment of 2:1 based on the cost of carbon offset units (at £54 per tonne). This equates to the emissions produced by 100 passenger cars in a year.*

Challenges and Achievements

The GWPF, as a collective lobbying group representing some of the area’s largest employers, is able to have a significant amount of influence with local consultations on a range of topics. It is of great benefit to some of the smaller employers whose voices are not always heard. Through the GWPF’s regular meetings, the group is able to respond with one voice to a range of consultations and lobby for improvements around issues ranging from waste management to diversity and inclusion.


Federated Hermes Real Estate is an active institutional fund manager offering an experienced and stable investment foundation.


*Estimations made using the Carbon Trust carbon calculator

*Please note that the information on this page was supplied by the BBP Member and the BBP assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content