Capco aims to minimise the impact of our operations on the environment. We take a responsible and forward-looking approach to environmental issues and the principles of sustainability.
In 2019 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 2018.
Initiatives in 2019 included extending our installation of energy-efficient LED lighting, with new lamps fitted to street lamps owned by Westminster City Council on Floral Street. 70 per cent of landlord areas in Covent Garden now use LED lighting.
We completed our auditing activities for Phase Two of the UK Government’s Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (“ESOS”) and the outcomes of the audit will be considered in future plans to reduce Capco’s energy consumption. We also completed our participation in the Carbon Reduction Commitment.
We have continued to target improvement of the energy performance of our assets in response to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (“MEES”). At least 67 per cent of the commercial assets at Covent Garden achieve an EPC rating of at least C. Certain new-build schemes incorporate a building management system to more accurately measure a building’s energy efficiency and certain properties within our portfolio have been fitted with smart meters. Such measures are designed to assist with lowering energy usage across our portfolio.
ADDRESSING AIR QUALITY
In 2019, we continued to raise awareness of ways in which air quality within the Covent Garden district can be improved by installing more signage to encourage drivers to turn off engines, rather than idling, and by installing an ‘air quality level’ advisory board at the Market Building visitor information hub. We also continued to liaise with Westminster City Council to identify opportunities for increasing pedestrianisation of the area.
Work has commenced on the installation of 15 electric vehicle charging points in the car park on Floral Street.
GREENING OUR PLACES
Throughout 2019 additional bio-diverse planting was introduced to Floral Street, King Street and James Street. We also sought to reduce our environmental impact by using sustainability sourced planting products, materials and compost.
WASTE AND WATER MANAGEMENT
To support our aim of improving recycling rates across the Covent Garden portfolio, 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.
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.
GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
In 2019, our absolute Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) emissions reduced compared with 2018. We switched additional electricity supplies to renewable energy tariffs and took steps to better understand our Scope 3 emissions, particularly in relation to business travel. We continue to report GHG emissions 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.
Following the Government’s 2019 announcement that the scope of mandatory carbon reporting was to be extended, we have expanded our disclosure to report in alignment with the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Regulations.
Capco has engaged Ramboll UK Limited to provide independent verification of the calculation of 2019 GHG emissions assertion, in accordance with the industry recognised standard ISO 14064-3. A copy of our Greenhouse Gas Assertion and Verification Statement can be found here. Further information on the methodology we used to calculate GHG Emissions can be found in our 2019 Annual Report & Accounts, which is accessible here.
To reduce our carbon footprint, we carbon offset all directly booked business-related travel during 2019.
In 2019 we carried out a review of our Sustainability Framework for Projects and Development with the aim of updating the criteria to reflect the evolving standards required of new construction and major refurbishment projects.
At Lillie Square, Phase 2 of the development remains on track to achieve Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 certification.
Floral Court was shortlisted in the ‘Homes’ category of the global BREEAM Post Construction Awards. The shortlist comprises highly complex projects in urban contexts, all aiming to deliver homes with a focus on comfort and sustainable living.
We achieved our first Gold SKA sustainability certification for our refurbishment works at 14 Floral Street and Tower House.
Capco remains an active member of the UK Green Building Council.