We have a rocket at Clyde Shopping Centre.
The Rocket is our Accelerated Composter. It’s a common misconception that making environmental savings costs money. Yes, there is usually an upfront investment, but it is often very quickly paid back, and after only a short time turns a profit.
Profit can be measured on many levels. Our composter makes it on three: we have saved so much money by separating and composting our own food waste that we have been able to recruit a new member of staff; our compost feeds the community through our “Landfill to Landfeed” project that sees local children using it in raised beds at the centre to learn about growing their own food; and the planet profits from the carbon savings generated by not sending waste to landfill.
This way of thinking about our place in one big, connected system is addictive too. At Clyde, we now also have a processor that turns retailers’ waste oil into bio-diesel. We run five of our biggest plant on bio-fuel, saving us £8,000 a year to reinvest, and saving more carbon.
We also have a rainwater-harvesting tank that cost very little to install but has yielded a massive 78% water reduction by using it in the power-washer.
The thing we love the most about these initiatives at Clyde is that they have come from the team as part of their every-day, efficient management of the centre. We did not dictate a series of strict carbon reduction targets; rather the passion came from the ground up. The team established an environmental committee who were committed to making changes, and making savings. They saw the payback – financially, environmentally and socially – and got stuck in. To date they have reduced Clyde Shopping Centre’s carbon footprint by 30%. It is a great achievement, which has been recognised with plenty of awards.
Next stop? LED lighting, we hope.
As a business, we have learned from this energy and passion. We need to learn more about how to be brilliant at sustainability, and for us this is a great place to start. As a direct result of these fantastic initiatives, we have developed a Responsibility Policy, which sets out the way we aspire to work across our business. We want to be thinking in this way at all the properties we manage, and are making plans to engage our clients and occupiers in a more connected way of doing things. This will give our clients higher performing assets in the short-term, which are more resilient to changing legislation in the long-term.