Capco aims to minimise the impact of our operations on the environment. We apply a responsible and forward-looking approach to environmental issues and the principles of sustainability.
Energy & Carbon Management
We actively monitor and aim to reduce energy use and carbon emissions across the Group. In 2017 we reduced our energy use and carbon emissions by 6 per cent and 7 per cent respectively on a like-for-like basis compared to 2016, exceeding our target of 3%. Steps to improve the energy efficiency of our assets remain a key focus and, as part of major refurbishment works, we have installed more efficient boilers, lighting and improved heating and cooling controls. We continue to implement energy efficiency measures, including the continued roll-out of LED lighting across the Covent Garden estate. Furthermore, to reduce our carbon impact we continue to purchase electricity through green energy tariffs where possible. A copy of our greenhouse gas assertion and verification statement in accordance with the recognised industry standard ISO14064-3 can be found here.
Capco remains a participant of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme, and the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). In line with the forthcoming Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), we are closely monitoring the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings of our assets and have taken action to increase the number of assets with an EPC rating of at least an “E”.
Capco funded the repair of an air quality monitor located in Covent Garden to gain an improved understanding of the air quality on the estate. The air quality is monitored via an application called “London Air” and Covent Garden regularly records the lowest level of air pollution measured by the application. In 2017 the Greater London Authority designated Covent Garden and our neighbours the Northbank Business Improvement District as one of only two “Business Low Emission Neighbourhoods” in Westminster. Capco continues to work collaboratively to further enhance air quality in the district.
Waste & Water Management
Minimising the amount of waste sent to landfill and improving recycling rates are ongoing priorities across our estates. Across our estates, we have continue to drive waste consolidation and improve recycling rates, working in partnership with our tenants and contractors. During 2017 99% of non-hazardous waste was diverted from landfill at Earls Court, with nearly two thirds of demolition material being re-used either on-site or other construction projects.
We actively monitor water consumption and identify opportunities to reduce usage. Rainwater harvesting has been installed to help supply the irrigation to the Covent Garden living wall. Depending on the weather and season, up to 80% of the water will be provided by the harvesting system. Where possible Capco install water efficient fittings as part of refurbishment works and development projects. The recently completed Floral Court development has incorporated low-water use taps, showers and WC's to meet the BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes standard to support residents in meeting water use levels of less than 105 liters per person per day.
In 2017 Capco transformed the principal gateway to Covent Garden by installing a living wall covering over 1,500 sq ft of a building façade on the corner of Long Acre and James Street. The wall contains over 8,000 plants and 21 different species to increase the area's biodiversity, capture pollution particles and support insects and birds.
The living wall is part of a greening initiative to recreate the area's garden heritage. Over 100 flower crates and barrows have been installed around the Piazza and at Floral Court, a new mixed development in the heart of Covent Garden, 12 areas of green roof have been introduced together with new habitats to support the house sparrow, which is in decline in the UK.
Capco is committed to integrating responsible and sustainable practices into the delivery of our projects and development. Efforts to certify our major construction projects to industry sustainability standards continue. Notable achievements during 2017 include the refurbishment of Regal House in Covent Garden receiving our first Ska rating of Silver, Carriage Hall achieving BREEAM Very Good status and Phase 1 of Lillie Square attaining Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 certification. We will continue to embed sustainability into the delivery of our projects and work towards a minimum rating of BREEAM Very Good on major construction projects and, where existing planning conditions apply, Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 certification.
Capco continues to have a Sustainability Framework that sets out our approach to embedding sustainability principles into the design and construction of our developments.
For applicable projects we also insert Green Lease clauses to support our tenants in continuing high levels of sustainability during fit-out works and in operation.
Capco remains an active member of the UK Green Building Council, participating in the creation of the Council’s new guidance on embodied carbon in development.
We monitor and report our performance in line with industry sustainability benchmarks. In 2017 we remained a participant in the FTSE4Good Index and responded to the CDP Climate Change Programme, achieving an A rating.