Operational Approach

Our key material impacts flow from our UK Shopping Centre Assets. Operating them efficiently is central to our delivery of Positive Places.

The environmental impact of our existing assets is significant.  Whilst we have a strong focus on sustainability within our development projects, excellence in the operation and management of our current portfolio is fundamental to achieving our sustainability targets and goals. 

Key Operational Initiatives

Moving to Naturally Ventilated Centres: Energy used to heat and cool our Shopping Centres is a major contributor to our carbon emissions. Moving to natural ventilation simply makes good sense.

We have worked with natural ventilation specialists Breathing Buildings to carry out an assessment of the potential for moving to natural ventilation at our Shopping Centres. 

Being mindful of the need to maintain a comfortable environment for our consumers and for our retailers working within the centres, we are carrying out a series of year long studies to assess performance in a range of ventilation modes. 

The findings so far: 

  • High Cross have moved to natural ventilation and have seen the benefits in efficiency with no loss of comfort. 
  • Older assets such as Brent Cross and those with a high thermal mass in densely built areas such as Bullring have found it more challenging. 
  • Overall energy consumption at our UK shopping centres has fallen by 17% since 2010
  • We are implementing a mixed mode strategy in these assets which we expect to continue to reduce energy consumption.  A similar approach has been adopted in our French assets. Whilst a natural ventilation strategy would not be appropriate in our new centre in Marsaille because of the climate, we are designing our centre at Beauvais as a naturally ventilated asset.

LED installation: At Bullring, Hammerson upgraded the lighting with 5,420 new LED lights. As the most energy-hungry asset within the portfolio, efficiency has been a key focus area and the LEDs have resulted in substantial savings. At a cost of £1.5 million, this was a significant investment, but payback is expected within 4.5 years.   

We have seen a 23.5% reduction in electricity use and 1,200 tonnes less CO2 emitted per year, supporting Hammerson’s Positive Places target to cut emissions by 20% by 2020 compared to 2015.

Our focus on operational efficiency has generated substantial savings in energy and carbon and resulted in a significant increase in the proportion of our waste that is diverted from landfill. More details on our performance can be found on our Data and Performance web page.

Governance and Data Management


Our Corporate Responsibility Operations Working Group is a forum for bringing forward ideas to improve the environmental efficiency of the assets. This Working Group is Chaired by Janet Bishopp our Head of Shopping Centres and attended by representatives from the UK Shopping Centres, the Retail Parks, Hammerson Operations team and the Sustainability Team. 

This Working Group has been responsible for promoting our energy efficient lighting strategy, monitoring our environmental performance and implementing our natural ventilation strategy. Recent projects promoted through the Working Group have included a feasibility study for the introduction of LED lighting at the Bull Ring in Birmingham, a water efficient brief for all our Centre washroom refurbishments and more effective waste management strategies.

Environmental Data Management: 

Increasing reporting requirements, particularly for listed companies and as a result of Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme, has focused considerable attention on data management systems.

Reporting systems: 

Environmental data - In 2011 we introduced Credit 360 as our environmental data management platform.  This includes all operational data for our UK and French assets back to 2010.  

Community data -  We worked with Credit 360 to develop a community engagement data module. Holding our data in one web based system enables us to monitor performance more frequently and at asset level, as well as setting asset level targets for performance.   We also use The Butterfly Bank platform to capture volunteering and sustainable behaviour data from employees. 

Our data reporting is now much more robust and efficient.  We are now extending the system to include data from our development sites and will be making further improvements to data capture for the portfolios.  Using automatic data feeds and degree day data are two of the data improvement projects we have planned for 2014-15.