Minimising our environmental impact


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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our society. We aim to minimise our environmental impact through procuring energy from renewable resources, reducing our consumption and encouraging stakeholders to be more sustainable.

BREEAM Very Good certification for Canvey Island Retail Park

In 2020, we received a BREEAM Very Good certification for our Canvey Island Retail Park development, which was completed in the prior year. Measures taken as part of the BREEAM strategy included developing a pedestrian and cyclist friendly site design, exceeding regulatory energy performance requirements, the installation of low-level external lighting systems that avoid night-time light pollution and the sourcing of new materials with low embodied energy. The project development team included a BREEAM Accredited Professional, who continually reviewed proposals throughout the development to ensure the project embodied BREEAM principles.

Elsewhere in our development pipeline, in December 2019 we received a BREEAM pre-assessment for our forward-funded Romford hotel development, where we will also be aiming for BREEAM Very Good certification.

energy audits

Energy audits and management reviews

In 2019, all large companies in the UK were required to conduct energy audits of their significant energy uses to comply with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) in the UK.

We completed most of the energy audits significantly ahead of the regulatory deadline, as understanding the energy flows in our building has identified opportunities increase energy efficiency at our assets.

One example is our LED lighting rollout, with saw us upgrade an additional five shopping centres to new lighting systems during the year, which use on average 80% less energy than the conventional halogen sources they were replacing.

Energy broker tender to drive enhanced co-ordination

In 2019 we ran a comprehensive tender for energy procurement and management services. We appointed Zero Trace Procurement (ZTP) due to its industryleading capabilities in energy procurement, utility bill management and energy consumption monitoring and reporting. With ZTP, we can better monitor energy consumption patterns through their online platform where everything related to energy gets captured.

Our property managers will be using the platform to identify efficiency opportunities and evaluate the effectiveness of the measures we have taken to reduce energy consumption.

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Our partnership with InstaVolt 

InstaVolt is one of the UK’s leading providers of electric vehicle charging points and is the owner and operator of all EV charging points across the NewRiver portfolio. InstaVolt’s chargers are available to use on a subscription-free, pay-as you go basis, and with rapid DC chargers providing a minimum 50kW of electricity, can charge a vehicle in the time it takes to have a cup of coffee. Better still, all the electricity supplied to InstaVolt comes from 100% renewable energy sources, and the units are futureproofed through the ability to upgrade them to provide up to 350kW as battery technology develops, without the need to remove them from the ground. InstaVolt installs and maintains its chargers for free and makes its money from the sale of electricity to drivers. NewRiver receives a rent for hosting the chargers at its centres.

Find out more about InstaVolt​

Electric vehicle charging

In 2018, we partnered with InstaVolt – one of the UK’s largest owner-operators of rapid DC charging stations for electrical vehicles – to install and maintain charging points to a number of our shopping centres and retail parks. We now have 18 charging points installed across six retail sites in Wallsend, Fareham, Dumfries, Middlesbrough, Market Deeping and Barry, and we have plans to install them at further sites in the coming year.

Water usage

Reducing water consumption at our assets saves money and reduces our overall resource intensity. We have implemented water saving initiatives at seven centres including undertaking several toilet refurbishments. Initiatives included installation of sensor taps, water saving cisterns and new water heaters. We also installed water harvesters on service decks and rooftops, such as on the roof of Broadway Shopping Centre, Bexleyheath. These installations substantially reduce the consumption of potable water by using the roof as a collector of rainwater

Waste and recycling

In 2019, we reviewed our waste data collection processes to enable us to categorise the waste produced by visitors to our assets and by individual occupiers. This has provided actionable insights and allowed us to better gauge the requirements of occupiers. These have led to the installation of additional customer recycling points in our centre and the provision of extra dry mixed recycling bins in our service yards for use by our occupiers.

Solar PV Panel installation

The installation of solar photovoltaic (“PV”) panels on the roofs of our assets and other open spaces provides a renewable source of electricity derived directly from sunlight, which is used to power lighting and other amenities at our centres, while also reducing our carbon emissions and energy procurement costs.

NewRiver has installed Solar PV panels at four shopping centres – in Boscombe, Llanelli, Skegness and Hastings – each with a 50 kWp system capacity. Together, these generate almost 400,000 kWh per year, enough to power 130 UK households. In addition, Grays Shopping Centre, which NewRiver acquired in July 2018, already has a system of almost 200 panels covering 15,000 sq ft on the roof of the centre. These panels generate approximately 45,000 kWh per year, sufficient to power the centre’s car park, and saving around 600 tonnes of CO2 over their life.

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