The Brunel shopping centre in Swindon has become one of only a few retail schemes in the UK to gain silver status in the Green Achiever scheme which is designed to help businesses boost their green credentials and reduce their environmental impact.
The 550,000 sq ft centre, which gained the award at the first attempt, has brought in a number of waste segregation and energy reduction initiatives in partnership with its 100-plus tenants.
The centre’s waste service area has two full-time staff who bale paper and cardboard, sort plastic bottles by colour and separate spent fluorescent lighting and waste electrical and electronic equipment.
Service corridors are now lit by single fluorescent lights operated on timer switches and new all signage at the centre is now all LED-lit. A waste-to-water system is to be introduced in in the public toilets, which already have push taps and waterless urinals.
Brunel general manager Steve Fawke, pictured with the award, said: “Our ultimate aim is to get gold status and we have a number of plans we will be putting in to action over the coming months.”
The Brunel occupies more than half of Swindon town centre’s retail area. Its anchor stores include House of Fraser Outlet, Boots, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s. The centre, managed by FI Real Estate Management, also has a number of locally-owned independent stores.
The Green Achiever scheme offers environmental accreditation to UK businesses wishing to boost their green credentials and reduce their environmental impact. Developed by environmental consultancy E4 environment and Carbon Earth, the silver and gold awards are attained following an extensive environmental audit that requires a company to demonstrate the positive action taken in the way it cares for the environment.
E4environment operations manager Deborah Cairns said: “The staff and management at The Brunel Centre are demonstrating a conviction to enhancing their green status that not only sets a standard for others to follow but will save the organisation money too.
“Everyone’s talking about the Government’s environmental policies and how our behaviour is leading to changes in the climate. The public is becoming increasingly vocal about what they expect from retailers and manufacturers, for example, less packaging and more recyclable products, as well as services and processes that are environmentally friendly. Over 40 businesses a month now register with Green Achiever from a range of sectors and varying sizes including retail, IT, manufacturing and professional services, sole traders, SMEs and large corporations.”