Our participation in external sustainability indices and benchmarks helps us monitor our performance and identify opportunities for improvement. We are proud to have achieved our third consecutive Gold award for reporting in line with the EPRA Sustainability Best Practice Recommendations for Reporting. Capco’s 2020 EPRA Sustainability Report can be downloaded below:
We achieved a CDP score of C and a GRESB score of 59, and we are aiming to improve these scores through our actions this year. We continued to report under FTSE4GOOD during the year. Capco remains an active member of the UK Green Building Council.
Since Capco’s inception we have invested in reducing energy consumption and lowering carbon emissions across all our buildings, and have achieved year-on-year reductions in like-for-like consumption. Following the launch of our long-term goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, we will enhance our data capture to establish a robust baseline carbon measurement, and our future reporting will reflect our progress towards this target.
In 2020 we lowered our energy usage and met our target to reduce energy use by 3.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis compared with 2019. Our total energy usage reduced by in excess of 25 per cent. This performance reflects significantly reduced usage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of our long term engagement with Westminster City Council to reduce carbon emissions from both gas and electric street lighting, approximately 40 per cent of street lighting is now LED across the estate. On James Street, replica historic gas lighting has now been replaced with a modern gas effect LED equivalent which improves energy efficiency by more than 30 per cent.
We continue to improve the energy performance of our assets under minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (“MEES”) and seek to improve EPC performance whenever we have opportunity to do so during white-boxing and refurbishment. There are no assets with an F or G EPC rating and we are focusing our efforts on improving the performance of a small number of assets with an E rating. 80 per cent of landlord areas in Covent Garden now use LED lighting. To improve our data and help target efficiency initiatives we will progress our programme to roll out smart metering across the Covent Garden portfolio.
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, INCLUDING STREAMLINED ENERGY AND CARBON REPORTING (“SECR”)
In 2020, our absolute Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) emission reduced compared with 2019. We continue to monitor and report GHG emissions sources in accordance with UK legislation the GHG protocol Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, and use conversion factor data published by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (“DEFRA”) to calculate emissions. Capco has engaged Carbon Footprint Limited to provide independent verification of the calculation of 2020 GHG emissions assertion, in accordance with the industry recognised standard ISO 14064-3.
Further information on the methodology we used to calculate GHG emissions can be found in our 2020 Annual Report & Accounts, which is accessible here.
WASTE AND WATER MANAGEMENT
To support our aim of improving recycling rates across the Covent Garden portfolio, and in addition to the two food waste recycling facilities on the estate, in partnership with our waste contractor, Veolia, we visited all food and beverage occupiers to raise awareness of recycling opportunities. We also upgraded recycling facilities at the Jubilee Market, promoted a water bottle refill initiative and introduced designated coffee cup recycling points. 100 per cent of non-hazardous waste from the Covent Garden Market Building operations was diverted from landfill, with waste either being recycled or going to an ‘energy from waste’ plant.
Within our own offices, we continued to raise awareness of recycling and, when we consolidated our offices during 2020, we worked with a partner to support a range of charities and SMEs by donating excess office furniture. Click here for information on Sustainability at Capco’s Head Office.
We continue to monitor water usage across the assets we control and have incorporated water-efficient appliances and fittings into our refurbishment and development projects. No fines or penalties related to non-compliant actions that harmed the environment were incurred by Capco during the most recent financial year.
To reduce our carbon impact, we offset all directly booked business-related travel using a certified UK tree planting scheme partnered with an avoided Amazon deforestation programme. In 2020, we chose to maintain our level of offset at 2019 levels due to reduced travel in 2020.
Capco’s Sustainability Framework for our projects and developments can be downloaded below:
At Lillie Square, Phase 2 of the development achieved Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 certification.
Floral Court was ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Homes’ category of the global BREEAM Post Construction Awards. The shortlist comprised highly complex projects in urban contexts, all aiming to deliver homes with a focus on comfort and sustainable living. The judges noted that Floral Court: “provides a pragmatic but effective approach to working in a listed context, which will be transferable to lower-budget projects elsewhere.”
We achieved SKA level Gold sustainability certification for our refurbishment works at 14 Floral Street, Tower House, Regal House and most recently at 3 Henrietta Street.
IMPROVE AIR QUALITY
Capco has championed air quality since inception, introducing pedestrianisation to a number of streets in Covent Garden and implementing extensive greening across the estate, including the green wall in our head office building. We were able to extend pedestrianisation further during 2020, supporting our customers to reopen in between COVID-19 restrictions, and will continue to demonstrate the environmental advantages of this approach. In addition, 15 electric vehicle charging points were installed for residents in the underground garage on Floral Street. In January 2020, in partnership with Kings College, London and clean air charity Hubbub, Capco hosted a clean air pavilion and event to highlight the importance of NO2 emissions across London. We continue to engage with Westminster City Council to maximise the pedestrianisation of the area. We will further invest in greening across the estate to improve air quality alongside biodiversity. Over time we intend to further increase air quality through use of electric vehicles for delivery and waste consolidation. Our refurbishment of our buildings will continue to have regard to interior air quality in design and implementation.
DRIVE INNOVATION AND CHANGE
Creativity and innovation are at the heart of Capco’s business and we have used this in our approach to greening and our BREEAM Highly Commended development at Floral Court. Capco believes that innovation and technology are critical to meet the unique challenge of climate challenge. This creative approach will inform our search for technology and solutions which are sympathetic to the heritage nature of our buildings and deliver on our commitment to find innovative solutions for all our stakeholders. We will actively seek opportunities to partner with third parties to trial sustainability technology for the built environment while recognising that our heritage buildings are long-term carbon stores that should be celebrated. We have a proud history of working with universities and academics, and such partnerships will be continue to be considered in order to champion change.
People are the key to our success and we are proud of our high performance and results oriented approach.
Benefiting the communities in which our assets are located is the cornerstone of our stewardship.
We are committed to providing the highest standards of health and safety at our assets.