Materiality

We identify what matters most by engaging with stakeholders, monitoring external trends, assessing risks, benchmarking our performance, reviewing best practice, consulting experts and working with people across the business.

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Our materiality review and sustainability reporting cover material activities for British Land, including activities by our subsidiary, Broadgate Estates, on our behalf. They do not cover Broadgate Estates’ activities on behalf of others.

  • Stakeholder engagement: We regularly engage with our key stakeholders, including customers, local communities, employees, suppliers, investors and analysts, and local and central government. Stakeholder feedback informs the development of our sustainability strategy and activities. More on stakeholder engagement
  • Risk assessment: Our assessment of risk is a cornerstone of our business strategy. We actively manage our social, environmental and ethical risks, both directly within our business and through our supply chain. More on risk assessment
  • Benchmarking & monitoring best practice: We benchmark our social and environmental performance against our peers and others, and are proud to be the leading UK REIT on several key sustainability indices. More on benchmarking
  • Consultation with experts: In addition to commissioning sustainability consultants to advise us on specific topics, we seek feedback from experts through our stakeholder engagement activities. More on stakeholder engagement
  • Internal review: Through internal review, we assess stakeholder feedback, expert opinion, risk assessments, external trend analysis, benchmarking and best practice to develop our strategy. More on governance
  • Identifying what matters most: We work within our business and across our supply chain to target our efforts and resources at the social and environmental issues that matter most, focusing on the properties, developments and initiatives where we can achieve the biggest impacts.
  • Places People Prefer: Our purpose is to deliver long-term and sustainable total returns to all our stakeholders and we do this by focusing on Places People Prefer. Our sustainability strategy is at the heart of our business strategy, helping us drive preference for our stakeholders, deliver lasting value and create positive social, economic and environmental outcomes. More on Places People Prefer
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Stakeholder engagement

We identify who our key stakeholders are by working with people across the business, consulting experts, engaging with external stakeholders and reviewing best practice. Our key stakeholders have a high level of influence on our activities and a high level of interest in the performance of our business or a particular asset.

We regularly engage with our key stakeholders, including customers, local communities, employees, suppliers, investors and analysts, and local and central government. Different stakeholders have different priorities and we need to strike a balance. Stakeholder feedback played a key role in the development of our 2020 sustainability strategy.

In recent years, alongside satisfaction surveys of occupiers, employees and local contacts, we have surveyed thousands of people who shop, work or live in our properties, gaining insights to create Places People Prefer.

Please click the below graphic for further information on our stakeholders.

  • Communities: We engage with local people who live near our properties and developments, community groups, local authorities and other key local partners on an ongoing basis, as set out in our Local Charter. We also carry out annual surveys of key community contacts at our major developments. Community.
  • Investors & analysts: From individual shareholders to major commercial firms, we maintain a continuing dialogue with investors and analysts, with whom we place considerable importance on maintaining open and clear communication. Analysts include financial analysts, SRI (socially responsible investment) analysts and ESG (environmental, social and governance) benchmark analysts. Our performance on sustainability indices such as DJSI, FTSE4Good and GRESB matters to our investors. Investors.
  • JV partners: Our joint venture partners include GIC at Broadgate in the City, Norges at Meadowhall in Sheffield, Oxford Properties at The Leadenhall Building in the City, USS at Whiteley in Hampshire, Aviva at SouthGate Bath, as well as Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
  • Customers: Our customers include our retail and office occupiers and prospective occupiers, and those who live, work or shop in our properties. We engage with occupiers on an ongoing basis through our key account programme and other activity. We also regularly survey customers across our portfolio and act on what they tell us. Annual Report and Accounts.
  • Employees: Our strategy starts with our people. Our employees are split between the core team at British Land and our property management subsidiary, Broadgate Estates. The breadth and depth of our knowledge, our skills and our relationships underpin our competitive advantages and enable us to deliver on our broadest purpose, creating Places People Prefer. Employees.
  • Suppliers: Our suppliers include our development project teams, such as architects, engineers, building contractors and trade contractors. Our subsidiary Broadgate Estates provides property management services, managing a supply chain that includes cleaning, customer service, engineering, landscaping and security. By working with our suppliers, we can make a bigger impact. Suppliers.
  • Peers & industry associations: As one of the UK’s largest property companies, we have an important role to play in raising standards across the sector. We are a founder member of the UK Green Building Council (UK GBC). We participate in ongoing and one-off initiatives. For instance, our Head of Sustainable Places, Sarah Cary, chairs the British Property Federation Sustainability Committee. Our Head of Wellbeing and Futureproofing, Matt Webster, is participating in the World GBC group on healthy buildings. We also support a range of Better Buildings Partnership sustainability initiatives. Find out how we perform on benchmarks.
  • Research partners: We have ongoing relationships with key research partners, such as University College London and the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). We also commission independent research by organisations such as IMS Consulting, IPSOS Mori, nef consulting and PwC. Download our Reports and publications.
  • NGOs & charities: We engage with non-governmental organisations on specific issues, such as the Living Wage Foundation. We also engage with charities through our community programme. Community.
  • Local & central government: Where we have significant experience and expertise, we welcome opportunities to share these with local and central government. For instance, our Head of Planning, Adrian Penfold, sits on the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Planning Sounding Board. Whilst we participate in consultation and other debate on matters directly relevant to our business and industry, we have an explicit policy that we do not make any donations to any political organisations.

For key topics and concerns that have been raised through stakeholder engagement, and how we have responded to those, please download our Stakeholder Engagement Reports: Reports and publications.

Risk management

Our assessment of risk is a cornerstone of our business strategy and our embedded risk management is fundamental to its delivery. Key social and environmental risks are integrated within the principal risk disclosures in our Annual Report and Accounts.

We apply the precautionary principle, acting with informed prudence.

We comprehensively reviewed our supply chain risks in 2014/15 and developed a plan to increase focus on social risks, including human rights. We then launched a Supply Chain Charter to ensure that key social and environmental principles are implemented throughout our supply chain.

Compliance with legislation is a basic contractual requirement for all our employees and suppliers. Failure to meet regulatory requirements can result in financial risks and reputational damage, and so affect our commercial performance. We therefore go beyond regulatory requirements to achieve high standards related to matters including the environment, health and safety, human rights and ethical practices.

Download our Annual Report and Accounts: Annual Report.

Download our Supply Chain Charter: Policies.

Download Sustainability risk maps for our supply chain PDF.

Our materiality matrix

Through the process outlined above, which we consider to be in line with the GRI Reporting Principles for Defining Report Content, we have prioritised key social and environmental issues to our business and stakeholders, as shown in our materiality matrix below. British Land considers material issues both within and outside our direct control. All our material issues are relevant to both British Land and our supply chain.

Please click the below graphic for further information.

Our materiality review informed the development of our new 2020 sustainability strategy, including the scope and selection of our key performance indicators. It also informs our sustainability reporting.

For more detail on our Materiality Matrix, see our Stakeholder Engagement Report 2014: Reports and publications.