Sustainable Shopping Centres

Across the globe, there has been a massive increase in awareness regarding the impact humans have on the environment. Sir David Attenborough has been a major influencer, inspiring change across so many with re-useable bottles, coffee cups, straws, lunch boxes and shopping bags becoming significantly more popular.

The built environment plays a significant role in the consumption and distribution of energy and therefore, can have a major positive impact on the future of climate change.

Shopping centres, in particular, have a considerable opportunity to make a change as they impact on so many, both directly and indirectly, and it’s fantastic to see the amount of work already being done!


Citycon, a leading owner, manager and developer of shopping centres in the Nordic region is recognised as a long-term player committed to sustainable shopping centre management. They have integrated a whole host of sustainability measures such as:

  • Proximity & ease of access – all centres are accessible by public transport
  • Bicycle parks and pedestrian access encouraging shoppers to leave the car at home
  • Energy and water-efficient solutions such as LED lighting, solar panels, green roofs, optimised ventilation and waterless urinals


Hammerson is an owner, manager and developer of retail destinations across Europe. Hammerson’s sustainability vision is to create retail destinations that deliver net positive impacts economically, socially and environmentally.

The business has an in-depth sustainability strategy which revolves around ‘positive places’. They have created 5 core commitments which underpin the way they behave, strategise, develop and create places:

  • Challenge and Innovate
  • Serve and Invest
  • Protect and Enhance
  • Partner and Collaborate
  • Upskill and Inspire


Landsec is one of the UK’s leading real estate companies. The business has become renowned for its commitment to sustainable value for customers, communities, partners and employees.

They have embedded twelve sustainability commitments into the business which include (amongst others):

  • Reduce Carbon footprint
  • Ensure 100% of electricity is supplied from renewable sources
  • Reduce energy intensity by 40% by 2030
  • Send zero waste to landfill
  • Source core construction products and materials from ethical and sustainable sources

Landsec’s Chief Executive, Robert Noel said: “In March 2019 I signed the UN Global Compact, committing Landsec to universal sustainability principles. For us, there is no gap between doing business responsibly and doing business profitably.”


Singapore, as a destination, is passionate about sustainable and eco-friendly solutions and take its carbon footprint seriously, gaining a reputation as a ‘City in a Garden’.

Shopping centres across Singapore are leading the way in sustainable design with some examples including:

  • City Square Mall – the centre has been built with eco-conscious principles in mind including natural light, a glass roof and a green roof collecting energy, rainwater and promotes cross-ventilation
  • 313@Somerset – the centre has numerous process including air-conditioning which lowers the temperature whilst reducing white noise and the escalators automatically slow down when not in use


BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings. It assesses an assets environmental, social and economic sustainability performance with the goal of making the built environment better for all. Many commercial development and management companies have BREEAM as a core part of their environmental target and in some cases, the minimum standard.

BREEAM has grown massively in recent years and is a true testament to the increased awareness, beliefs and goals of environmental and social impact – particularly in the retail market.

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer’s Cheshire Oaks store is a fantastic example. It is their 3rd ‘sustainable learning store’ (SLS) following on from Ecclesall Road, Sheffield and Westfield, Stratford City, and is the largest M&S store in the world at 210,000 sq ft. The store was built in response to their Plan A commitment to delivering the most sustainably operated and carbon-efficient building project conceivable. It’s predicted to be 42% more energy-efficient and 40% more carbon-efficient than a peer store.

It’s fantastic to see, with all the worrying news about global warming and climate change, shopping centres are addressing the impact they have on the environment. The strategies being implemented are truly interesting, landlords are utilising properties and embedding sustainability processes which not only minimise environmental impact, but deliver a space in which customers, communities and businesses can thrive.

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