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.
In 2018 we continued our efforts to lower our energy usage and met our target to reduce energy use by three per cent on a like-for-like basis compared to 2017. At Covent Garden Market electricity usage was lowered by 15 per cent as we introduced further energy efficient LED lighting. We also carried out energy saving audits and purchased 98 per cent of our electricity from renewable energy suppliers.
Improving the energy performance of our assets in response to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (“MEES”) has remained a priority. We have improved the Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”) rating to E or better on all our Covent Garden properties, removing all ratings of F or lower, and achieved an EPC rating of at least C for all new residential apartments at Floral Court. 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.
A copy of our greenhouse gas assertion and verification statement in accordance with the recognised industry standard ISO14064-3 can be found here.
We recognise that improving air quality remains a priority for those living and working in, or visiting London. In 2018 we have continued our discussions with Westminster City Council to ascertain if further streets in Covent Garden can be made pedestrian-friendly. In advance of this, we have commissioned mobile signage encouraging drivers to turn off their engines if they are queuing in traffic, which will contribute to improving air quality.
GREENING OUR PLACES
At Covent Garden, we expanded our greening programme by installing planting to building facades on Floral Street and creating a pocket park in Conduit Court. We aim to increase planting over time to provide a biodiverse environment which will assist in improving air quality.
WASTE AND WATER MANAGEMENT
We have maintained our efforts to improve recycling rates and 100 per cent of waste was diverted from landfill for our head office and Covent Garden office operations. We raise awareness of how our employees can improve recycling rates in our operations by sharing information on our intranet pages. In an effort to reduce plastic waste, the Covent Garden office has switched its milk deliveries so that milk is provided in re-usable glass bottles.
We monitor water use across our portfolio and actively seek opportunities to install more efficient water-using equipment during our refurbishment works and new developments.
No fines or penalties related to non-compliant actions that harmed the environment were incurred by Capco during the most recent financial year.
We are committed to delivering new developments responsibly and to embedding sustainable practices. Our Environmental Policy and Sustainability Framework set out to our contractors and suppliers the standards our developments are to meet. We are currently reviewing our Sustainability Framework in light of the new London Environment Strategy and emerging New London Plan.
Across our major projects, we use industry certification programmes including BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes to help us maintain high standards of sustainable design. For Floral Court, our mixed-use development in the heart of Covent Garden, we have achieved three certifications: Level 4 Code for Sustainable Homes, BREEAM Excellent rating for domestic refurbishment and BREEAM Very Good rating for retail. Capco remains an active member of the UK Green Building Council.
We maintain our commitment to participating in industry sustainability indices and benchmarks. We continue to be included within the FTSE4Good Index and respond to the CDP climate change programme and GRESB. During 2018 we received our first Gold award for reporting in line with the EPRA Sustainability Best Practice Recommendations for Reporting.