Queensgate reigns supreme on driving green behaviours

PETERBOROUGH’S Queensgate Shopping Centre has beat off competition from across East Anglia to win a coveted award for driving sustainable behaviours. Its Growing Greener initiative has encouraged the 90 stores it houses to save water, energy, waste and carbon – and it has spread the word to shoppers too.

Environmental manager Carol Wakelin picked up the Making Waves award at a ceremony in Peterborough, organised and hosted by Anglian Water Business. The regional commercial water supplier’s second annual We Love What You Do Business Awards recognised companies that are protecting the environment and helping secure the future of the East of England.

Queensgate launched its Growing Greener initiative in September 2014. It first audited the water, energy and waste of the whopping 83% of stores who opted to participate. It then produced an improvement plan for each tenant and has subsequently monitored and reported back (with additional recommendations where necessary) on the results. Altogether £477,000 worth of savings were identified, including enough water to more than fill an Olympic sized swimming pool and enough energy to power over 1000 homes for a year. Many of these savings came from quick wins – for example, the distribution of toilet cistern bags provided by Anglian Water Business.

To reward good performance, Queensgate organised an awards ceremony for its tenants in April. It has also communicated the retailers’ good work to shoppers though in-centre messaging.

Carol Wakelin said, “As a centre, we had a good measure of what we controlled. We had already done a lot with Anglian Water Business on that. So we wanted to get a better understanding of what our tenants consumed and to help them make savings and reduce their running costs and risk.

“This award is absolutely brilliant, and great recognition of our work. Next year we want to work with the other 17% of tenants and to engage with new retailers. I am also going to present our work in partnership withour managing agent Jones Lang Lasalle, to encourage similar initiatives in other centres in their portfolio.”

Carol added that she valued her relationship with Anglian Water Business enormously – particularly with Anglian’s Rosemarie Stevic who has worked alongside her on the programme. “We’ve got a great relationship,” she said, “and it’s one I can really trust.”

Bob Wilson, managing director of Anglian Water Business, said: “It’s great to see so many businesses and public sector organisations who recognise their environmental responsibility as a commercial opportunity. Organisations that know sustainability makes financial sense and that it’s no longer a practice done for legal or charitable reasons, it’s a growth strategy. We launched these awards to remind people about the many positive stories out there and to give the people who run these important projects the recognition they deserve.”