British Land wins gold for sustainable business.
British Land has been recognised for its work at Regent’s Place, as well as its approach to biodiversity and energy management, winning two out of only ten prestigious accolades at the inaugural Guardian Sustainable Business Awards this week and achieving a commendation for the energy award.
In the built environment category, British Land was recognised for its partnership with the local community and commitment to sustainability and regeneration at its West End mixed use development Regent’s Place.
Sustainable development and management is embedded into British Land’s core business and its engagement with the local community over two decades saw the company take the top spot. Through a masterplan developed with Terry Farrell & Partners, British Land has created an environment that achieves both commercial and community needs, with inspirational artwork, a children’s theatre, community spaces and greener homes and offices. It has also increased pedestrian permeability through the estate and created the first new pedestrian crossing over the Euston Road for ten years, improving-north south links.
In addition to its community efforts, sustainable development is at the heart of Regent’s Place. New buildings developed through the masterplan are up to 50% more carbon efficient than required by current standards and it is forecast that 2.4 million litres of water will be saved, as the result of a new rainwater harvesting system.
The judges thought that Regent’s Place combines measurable, positive community and environmental gains with impressive scale, breadth and potential for replication. They believed it is a clear demonstration of British Land’s commitment to embedding sustainability into its core business and that this strategic integration marks the company out and underpins its proactive, sector leadership stance.
Commenting on the award win, Sir Terry Farrell of Terry Farrell & Partners said: “We are delighted that British Land has received this award, which underlines Farrells’ ongoing commitment to work with our partners to set new standards for sustainability. We were early adopters of sustainability principles and our work over four decades has borne testament to this. This is a well deserved award that rewards a true leader in its field.”
In the biodiversity category, British Land was celebrated for its creation of 60,000 sq ft of green space in Central London, providing urban habitats for insects, birds and plants. The company has set the standard for biodiverse green roofs, incorporating them into all 10 of its recent London developments and retrofitting them to some existing buildings.
A study commissioned by British Land to monitor the effectiveness of its green roofs revealed that they are contributing positively to local biodiversity. In September 2010, a black redstart began to use the green roofs at Regent’s Place, just nine months after they were planted. This scarce species has also been sighted on the green roofs at Broadgate. In addition, more than 30 native plant species were found to be present at 201 Bishopsgate and The Broadgate Tower; over 60 native plant species were planted on the green roofs at Regent’s Place, whilst 182 mature trees were planted across the wider estate; and 60% of available roof space at Ropemaker Place is green roof and terrace.
“Rather than adopting off-the-shelf solutions, British Land worked in partnership with Arup to design mosaic-style green roofs that provide a carefully considered array of habitats with real ecological integrity”, commented Dusty Gedge, president of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations.
Finally, the company was commended in the energy category for successfully reducing energy use across its portfolio in collaboration with occupiers, notably at York House where British Land influenced usage has been cut by almost 40%. The company has invested almost £1 million to encourage its occupiers to participate in its energy efficiency drive.
Commenting on British Land’s success Adrian Penfold, Head of Planning and Corporate Responsibility at the company concluded: “Conducting our business in a responsible and sustainable manner is central to British Land’s core values and very much at the heart of everything we do. It is especially gratifying to have been recognised by these awards, which attract entries from a wide range of blue chip companies, many of whom are pioneering new approaches and achieving ever higher standards.”