Posted on: 27/11/2017
Landsec is the largest commercial property development and investment company in the UK and was the first large property company to join the RE100. Caroline Hill, Head of Sustainability, discusses how choosing our Certified Renewable product has helped contribute to their sustainability ambitions.
Why has your business chosen to be supplied by renewable electricity?
Landsec has the ambition to be a sustainability leader in the real estate sector. We focus on decarbonising our property portfolio, our core business, and purchasing renewable is a key aspect of that.
How does buying renewable fit into your wider sustainability strategy?
We have three focus areas regarding energy and carbon reduction:
1. Procurement is the easiest way to decarbonise our portfolio. Switching energy provider is not difficult and doesn’t cost a lot. Renewable energy from SmartestEnergy costs less than 1% extra and in return, we are creating a leading sustainable brand and supporting a low-carbon economy.
2. Driving down our energy use which means active management.
3. Looking at onsite generation and how we can create carbon neutral buildings.
All three areas are crucial to our strategy to be a sustainability leader.
Do you believe your sustainable approach benefits your business?
Buying renewable energy fulfils our sustainability ambitions and it is important to our customers. They are happy to be in a space knowing it is powered by 100% renewable energy.
We also feel that moving to 100% renewable energy helps our brand to stand out and engages our staff. SmartestEnergy delivers us data that we display on big screens throughout the building to show our use of renewable energy and low carbon footprint.
How do you bring sustainability to life with your staff and customers?
Disclosing the source of the electricity we use is key for us as a forward-thinking brand. It makes for an engaging and interesting story and gives it a bit of a human element. We use the SmartestEnergy labels in our offices and buildings. It’s a simple and engaging way of showing our energy use. It shows that most of our energy comes from wind, followed by solar. Our customers, partners and employees love the insightful and simple labels.
How did the cost of renewable electricity impact your purchasing decisions?
Purchasing renewable energy is very important to our business but we procure on behalf of our tenants, so we have to be price competitive. With SmartestEnergy, it adds less than 1% to our electricity bills so our customers get renewable energy without premium costs.
People are surprised to learn that renewable energy doesn’t need to come with much extra costs. It is perceived as expensive, but that is no longer the case. There really is no financial reason why companies should not switch to renewable energy.
Why did you choose to work with SmartestEnergy?
Companies want to do the right thing but it is often just a matter of finding the right partner to work with. We are a company that requires a complicated process of buying and recharging of renewables at a competitive price. SmartestEnergy was able to deliver that as a one stop shop, and they have outstanding customer service which is also really important to us.
How important is SmartestEnergy's Carbon Trust certification?
SmartestEnergy’s partnership with the Carbon Trust gives us that extra reassurance about where our electricity comes from. Double counting of origin certificates has been a concern for us for years. What SmartestEnergy provides us with their Energy Labels is what Ernst and Young provide us for our books and accountability. The extra level of liability from the Carbon Trust is very important to us. They are a reliable and trustworthy partner and highly respected in the industry.