Recent Projects and Progress

23 Apr 2019

Since the publication of the 2018 Sustainability Report, the Sustainability team has been busy delivering new projects to help meet our Net Positive by 2030 objective. Here’s just a small snapshot of what’s been happening in the last couple of weeks.

1.  Earth Hour – 20:30 pm – 21:30 pm, 30 th March

On the 30th March, centres across the portfolio joined individuals, businesses and cities from over 180 countries to support  Earth Hour: the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment. Earth Hour seeks to draw attention to environmental problems by creating a global event focusing on turning off the lights for an hour.

Here’s an outline of how the centres supported the movement:

  • Grand Central collaborated with advertisers to turn off the media eye.
  • The Bullring turned off the lighting around the Bull.
  • At Highcross, the Beacons displayed Earth Hour content over the weekend and turned off the Beacons for the hour. The Highcross team collaborated with John Lewis to turn off their external lights.
  • Centres turned off all non-essential lighting across the centre.
  • Marketing coordinated a social media campaign with messages shared across the centres’ Twitter and Facebook pages.  The Oracle’s social media messages reached nearly 8,000 people.

2.  The Butterfly Bank – Net Positive and Q1 winners

The Butterfly Bank platform has been updated to directly link to the Net Positive objective. A selection of actions have been attributed a carbon, water or resource (plastic bottle or bags) value based on how much the action has saved. The actions are indicated by a symbol at the bottoms of an action. For example, a meat-free day (no longer exclusive to Mondays!) saves 1.82kg of carbon. In 2018, our meat-free days saved 525 kg of carbon– this year we’re aiming for even more.

When users login their dashboard shows exactly how much carbon, water and plastic their actions have saved and count towards Hammerson's Net Positive objective. 

Each quarter the top bankers win prizes. In Q1 2019, the top banker was Andy Collis from Cabot Circus; and the top banking Hammerson office was Union Square. Congratulations to our winners!

3. Braveheart/ CuchulainnHeart – Schools engagement

Hammerson volunteers from Ilac, Dundrum and The Bullring and Grand Central Estate have been busy at the Braveheart/ CuchulainnHeart Challenge. The challenge is schools engagement programme designed to engage a year group of pupils with Business, Enterprise and Citizenship skills, helping them to become future business leaders and responsible citizens.

The pupils spend a day working in a team to develop and pitch a community project aimed to address a pressing need within their community. For example, teams in Dublin pitched a youth centre to address the isolation of young immigrants and a support system for single parents. Business and community leaders support the event by acting as advisers and judges.

The feedback from the events is consistently fantastic. Clare McDonald stated, "It’s been a joy to witness the impact of the Ilac Centre sponsored CuchulainnHeart Challenge on the Pupils at St. Joseph’s Secondary in Dublin. The array of business, citizenship and life skills Pupils have been developing has been awe-inspiring, as they worked side by side with Businesspeople from the Ilac to come up with practical Community Action Projects, aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable groups within their own local Community."

4. Cake Decorating for The Outward Bound Trust

The Retail Showcase recently witnessed scenes of mass cake decorating. Anna Paula, from The Great British Bake Off: The Professionals, showed participants how to ice and decorate their cakes to perfection. Then the group was let loose with buttercream, fondant and more than enough cake to feed the office for three days.

We are very pleased to announce the event and subsequent cake sale raised £230.66 which will be match funded by the Hammerson Charities Committee, meaning £461.32 will be going to The Outward Bound Trust.

The Outward Bound Trust said, “We are so incredibly grateul to Hammerson and to all of you for your ongoing support. You are enabling more disadvantaged young people to experience a transformational Outward Bound course, challenging how they think and feel about themselves and giving them the confidence to believe that they can achieve anything they want in life.”

5. Silverburn Solar PV

Last week, Silverburn completed installing a Solar PV array covering three roofs of the shopping centre. The new panels will generate over 220mWh/year for the common parts area of the shopping centre. By reducing our reliance on the grid and generating our own clean energy, the technology is saving 62 tonnes of carbon each year. This carbon saving is the equivalent of the carbon sequestered by 268 acres of forest per year. This is a great addition to the portofio, helping us progress towards being Net Positive for Carbon.

The long term plan is to quadruple the capacity and install an additional 650kWp capacity. We are working with the local grid to make this happen.

6. Entrepreneurial Barnet

The Hammerson Head Office in London recently hosted the final round of Entrepreneurial Barnet, a Dragons Den style event in which small businesses and start-ups pitch for seed funding. The event is run by Middlesex University and supported by Brent Cross/ Hammerson.

From over 50 pitches in the first round, the final saw four diverse businesses pitch to a room of local stakeholders and a panel of esteemed judges, including our own Terry Magennis. One finalist was a graduate of Pop-Up business school – another Brent Cross supported initiative! The overall winner of £3,000 of funding and mentor-ship from Middlesex University was ‘ When I Grow Up ’ – a new family hub seeking to open on Barnet High Street. This is another great example of how Hammerson and our centres are supporting entrepreneurship in our local communities. 

7. Seekd

Seekd was a pop-up store in Brent Cross, open until the 21 st April. The concept store showcases an unrivalled selection of stylish, elegant and unique products, all of which have been designed with a focus on sustainability, use of eco-friendly materials and an innovative approach to sourcing and production.

The impressive line-up of emerging talent includes Lark & Berry, the first cultured diamond in the world. This presents the perfect combination of beautiful stones and designs with a conscience and a passion for protecting the environment and the people involved in the mining industry.

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