Sustainability group Planet First has launched a green benchmark for existing offices and other non-domestic buildings. The group, which works in partnership with the famous Eden Project, has trialled its new Planet Mark for Properties with developer Land Securities and others and is now taking it out to the property market.
The certification scheme can be applied by landlords, property owners and managers of single and multi-tenanted buildings, for one-off buildings or across entire estates. It focuses on reducing carbon, energy, water and waste by engaging occupiers in the process. The certification provides an annual carbon footprint measurement and minimum reduction target of 2.5%.
Working with landlords, property owners and facilities managers, the certification provides a survey and advice to highlight, mobilise and incentivise sustainability champions in each property. It also includes a database of toolkits and materials to drive continuous improvement.
Planet First chief executive Steve Malkin said of the mark, “It is helpful in meeting environmental objectives, helping compliance, and enhancing the credentials of any workplace, making it a better place to work.”
Malkin was quick to point out that the new mark was intended to complement rather than compete with BRE’s established BREEAM In Use scheme for existing buildings, saying, “We are going to work with BRE to see how we can collaborate and work together. We don’t want market confusion.” He said the organisation would also look to work with another key indicator, the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB).
At the launch, which was hosted by the Building Futures Group, Sarah Beattie, senior environment manager with developer Land Securities, outlined how it had trialled the mark and is now rolling it out on its office portfolio. “We’ve been applying innovation and technology to create resource efficient buildings, but we recognise we need to do more so our strategy for the future is to look at changing behaviours. Occupiers are keen to come on that journey with us,” said Beattie.
Prologis first vice president project management and UK sustainability officer Simon Cox, who has also trialled the mark, said a key benefit had been the data emerging. “One client shared the Planet Mark results with us and that gave us a wealth of information on their business. This is a tool that keeps occupiers happy and saves them money, which means they’ll stay with us. It builds a better relationship, which is important for us as we thrive on repeat business from big customers.”