Future proofing

We take care of our environment through future proofing.

From installing photovoltaic panels, cutting embodied carbon and fitting electric car charging points, to Broadgate Estates achieving the world’s first BREEAM Outstanding Fit Out, we are generating efficiency and income from future-proofed assets. Visit our blogs to find out more.

We are three times European sector leaders in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). We have also won awards for energy reductions from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), Property Week and the World Green Business Council. More on our Awards.

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Our approach

  • Improving operational efficiency and reducing occupier costs.
  • Increasing on-site energy generation and associated revenue.
  • Preparing for resource constraints and regulation through materials and process innovation.
  • Protecting value by reducing flood risk.

Why future proofing matters

Matt Webster, Head of Wellbeing and Futureproofing at British Land: "Through our future proofing programme, we have successfully delivered £13 million energy cost savings for us and our occupiers, at the same time as optimising lighting, temperatures and air quality for the comfort and wellbeing of the many thousands of people who work, shop and live in our buildings."

In addition to the substantial environmental benefits of our future proofing programme, such as reduced carbon emissions, lower water use, waste reductions and responsible sourcing of materials, business drivers include:

  • Delivering efficiency cost savings and minimising supply risks for our business and occupiers.
  • Protecting asset value for investors, equipping our places to perform for the long term in a changing environment.
  • Staying ahead of legislation that could otherwise be disruptive to our business and occupiers, with the UK Government aiming to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.
  • Supporting occupiers’ sustainability and efficiency goals, cutting their occupancy costs and delivering well-managed environments for the people who work, shop and live in our places.
  • Innovating to generate new revenue opportunities.

In the PwC Emerging Trends US Survey 2016, 89% of real estate experts said supporting sustainability / energy was important to their occupiers’ property strategy (12% very important) and 59% said carbon strategy was important (9% very important).

Hans Op 't Veld of PGGM Investments: "Having a focus on sustainability can both protect your assets from obsolescence and enhance value at the same time."

Megan Goring of Whitefoord Wealth Management: "British Land’s smart metering helps the property team do a great job of managing things like heating, cooling, lighting and air quality in the building – both for our comfort and for energy efficiency. Our move to 10 Brock Street has been a really positive one – it’s a fantastic working environment."


Sustainability ratings 2015/16 2014/15 2013/14
Developments on track to achieve BREEAM Excellent for offices and Excellent or Very Good for retail – 2020 target 100% 82% 94% 98%
Energy Performance Certificates rated A or B 30% 22% nr
Energy Performance Certificates rated F or G 3% 3% nr
Financial 2015/16 2014/15 2013/14
Cost savings from resource reductions, versus baseline (landlord and occupier) 4,738,200 3,639,700 4,738,200
On-site renewable energy income £14,106 £6,940 £14,106
Carbon emissions 2015/16 2014/15 2013/14
Carbon (Scope 1 and 2) intensity against 2009 index score of 100 – 2020 target 45 (55% reduction) 60/100 61/100 nr
Direct (Scope 1) greenhouse gas emissions (tonnes CO2e) Combustion of fuel 7,284 6,965 5,629
Operation of facilities 644 554 1,707
Indirect (Scope 2) greenhouse gas emissions (tonnes CO2e) Purchase of electricity, heat, steam and cooling for our own use 38,710 42,503 38,619
Indirect (Scope 3) greenhouse gas emissions (tonnes CO2e) 120,247 157,456 213,386
Energy use and intensity 2015/16 2014/15 2013/14
Landlord energy intensity against 2009 index score of 100 – 2020 target 45 (55% reduction) 62/100 60/100 nr
Office occupier energy intensity, against 2009 index score of 100 57/100 61/100 nr
Managed portfolio: energy use (MWh) 210,472 208,018 194,413
Developments: energy use (MWh) 5,346 5,854 4,030
Energy generation (MWh) 1,126 1,385 nr
Energy generation 0.96% 1.16% nr
Water use and intensity 2015/16 2014/15 2013/14
Water intensity, against 2009 index score of 100 74/100 78/100 nr
Managed portfolio: water use (m³) 653,490 557,041 654,591
Developments: water use (m³) 10,883 50,819 29,587
Waste and materials 2015/16 2014/15 2013/14
Waste management at our properties and developments (tonnes and %) Re-use, recycling and incineration – 2020 target 100% 148,856 (98%) 240,210 (95%) 70,731 (88%)
Landfilled – 2020 target 0% 2,805 (2%) 12,056 (5%) 9,777 (12%)
Waste per £100,000 construction spend on completed developments (tonnes) 0.02 nr nr
Sustainable timber (FSC or PEFC certified) 96% 100% 100%
Flood risk 2015/16 2014/15 2013/14
High risk of flooding (by value) 5% 8% nr

We are also gathering data on landlord embodied carbon intensity for development projects, on the proportion of procured green energy and on construction undertaken off site.

For more on our performance: Targets and performance.

For our CDP Reports: Reports and publications.

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Find out more

We have been working to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, minimise waste to landfill and cut water use for many years, reporting annually on our progress since 2002.

Our Sustainability Briefs and Supply Chain Charter set out our required standards and good practice examples where appropriate. Download our Briefs and Supply Chain Charter: Policies.

At our properties: We work closely with our site management, implementing environmental action plans at all major assets. We also work with occupiers to reduce energy use and cut carbon emissions, notably through sustainability groups in our multi-let offices. The main emissions at our properties where we have influence come from energy use. We have invested in automatic metering and energy monitoring across our portfolio in partnership with occupiers, so our property teams can identify ongoing reduction opportunities. We have also achieved culture change so all our building engineers now see efficiency as a core part of their jobs.

On our developments: We have been delivering our award-winning Sustainability Brief since 2011, improving construction site management, delivering efficient designs and enhancing biodiversity. We have created 4.3 million sq ft of BREEAM Excellent new offices and homes in London since 2009, with a further 1.7 million sq ft of space on track to achieve Excellent. This reflects our strong performance on efficiency, wellbeing, transport, materials, ecology and other sustainability criteria. The main emissions on our developments where we have influence come from embodied carbon. We have been working to improve understanding of embodied carbon since 2009, commissioning and publishing several studies. Building on this, we have been partnering with our supply chain to cut embodied carbon since 2011.

We have completed Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) assessments across our portfolio. Most of our office, retail and residential buildings significantly outperform the UK Government’s Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards. For those buildings rated F and G, we have plans in place to upgrade performance. We will not normally purchase assets with F or G ratings, without a clear asset plan to improve this rating.

View our performance.

We have also carried out flood risk assessments for our existing buildings. For the limited number of assets with high flood risks, we are working to mitigate these risks. We have also shared our findings with our insurer. We will carry out further flood risk assessments as appropriate.

Our business is focused on investment in existing towns and cities, which means we do not tend to build on greenfield or agricultural land, and that occasionally we must remediate previously contaminated land to make it suitable for new purposes and uses.