We aim to measure and monitor sustainability impacts at the building level and deliver regular, transparent reporting on our performance.

Within our investment portfolio, our proactive asset management activities aim to drive income and value growth to deliver strong returns. As we proceed to refocus and restructure the investment portfolio, we are seeking to establish a clearly defined, practical, active sustainability policy embedded from the start of the investment process to support these activities.

Our primary focus will be on effectively measuring our environmental impacts and targeting annual reductions. To mitigate risk in the context of upcoming legislation, in 2015 we initiated energy reduction programmes at a number of our assets. We are also striving to divert 100% of waste from landfill, and our principal managing agent CBRE has appointed a single waste removal contractor for their portion of the investment portfolio (approximately 80%) who has been tasked with delivering this target.

One of our key challenges is tackling the split incentive between landlord and tenant. To increase the energy performance of our portfolio, we need to introduce energy efficient equipment and management practices in tenant demised areas, but are finding that tenants are often unwilling to share the investment cost, even when they will reap returns within reasonable payback periods. At 399 Edgware Road we have introduced a BREEAM Green Lease Agreement for Morrison’s who must comply with specific requirements in order for us to attain the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and have received payment from us in order to support the necessary costs.

The Oriental and Far Eastern retail units on the same development are also required to comply with our ‘green’ fit-out design guidance.

As part of our efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our own operations, we have purchased ‘Twizy car’, a two-person electric car that avoids London’s congestion charge. Small enough to park in our lobby, it’s powered from the electrical supply in the U+I office but can be topped up at charge points across the city. It offers our team a fun, alternative and cost-effective way to get to and from meetings and provides us with an opportunity to publicise the U+I brand. It’s travelled 33 miles so far, and we hope to make the best use of it in the year to come.

GHG commentary

We report the environmental performance of our owned portfolio in line with EPRA’s Sustainability Best Practice Recommendations (sBPR). Tables detailing our performance in 2015 can be found here.