How do you decide what assets you want to own, and whether or not to acquire them? For Land Securities, it’s about whether an asset is likely to deliver long-term sustainable value, and that comes down to far more than price.
Global issues such as climate change, resource depletion and demographic change present significant challenges to the property industry. That’s why we make sure these issues are considered throughout our property investment process, from initial appraisal right through to asset management and disposal.
So what does that look like? Well, it means we do a full assessment of how a new acquisition or disposal will affect our ability to achieve our ambitious corporate sustainability commitments, such as our carbon reduction commitment to reduce carbon intensity (kgCO2/m2) by 40% by 2030 and to ensure that everyone who is working on our behalf – within our control – is paid at least the Living Wage by 2020. Our sustainability team works closely with our investment portfolio team to assess the risks and opportunities of each potential investment, and allow us to reach the right investment decisions. This approach helps us respond fast to acquisition opportunities – it’s not an additional layer of bureaucracy but a way to make informed, timely decisions.
We acquire an asset if it has the potential to meet the evolving needs of our customers and communities, can be acquired at the right price, and if it is likely to deliver long-term sustainable value. In some cases we are comfortable buying an asset that is less efficient than those in our existing portfolio because we are committed to improving the performance of our managed assets. Under our ownership, we are confident that the sustainability credentials of assets will improve, both socially and environmentally, creating value for our stakeholders.
Bluewater is a perfect example of this. Our recommissioning of a natural ventilation system has allowed us to reduce the reliance on air conditioning. In fact, even on the hottest of days, we have been able to switch it off. This has led to a 13% reduction in energy consumption, which is a fantastic result and also reduces service charge costs for our occupiers. We also held a number of Environment Days over the summer to highlight environmental awareness to the local community.
We’ve also undertaken major renovation of the multi-storey car park at Brighton Marina, replacing lighting throughout. To date, we have achieved a 60% energy saving whilst increasing lighting lux levels.
Across our Retail portfolio, we’re looking at where we can retrofit solar PV panels, which convert solar energy into electricity, after the success of our PV project at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.
We are excited about the future and what other opportunities we might find to further demonstrate our leading approach. If you want to find out more you can read our Responsible Property Investment Policy here.
This article was orginally published on the Land Securities website, here.
Head of Shopping Centres