Sustainability Innovations at Meadowhall

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Purpose of the project

Since opening 25 years ago, Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield has built a strong reputation for sustainability. In the last year alone, Meadowhall has won the national BCSC Sustainability Award and achieved a BREEAM Excellent In-Use rating. Meadowhall showcases British Land’s sustainability strategy in action, promoting wellbeing, supporting the local community, future proofing through efficiency initiatives, and developing local skills and opportunities. Here, we focus on a decade of efficiency initiatives that are cutting energy use and carbon emissions, saving water and minimising waste to landfill, at the same time as reducing retail occupiers’ costs and protecting asset value.


Efficiency innovations at Meadowhall, which continue to deliver results to this day, include:
• 2004: first UK shopping centre to open an on-site recycling facility to segregate cans, cardboard, glass, paper and more, at the same time as providing valuable work experience to people with learning disabilities
• 2006: the first of three rainwater harvesting tanks installed at the Centre, collecting water from the large roof areas and re-using it to flush toilets and water landscaping
• 2008: a dedicated team drilled a pioneering borehole, sourcing water from beneath the earth and so cutting the Centre’s reliance on mains water and reducing retail occupiers’ utility bills
• 2008: first UK shopping centre to install electric car charging points in partnership with Sheffield City Council and the Energy Saving Trust, helping shoppers make the switch and cut emissions
• 2011: one of the first UK shopping centres to pilot an advanced energy metering and management system, which identifies no-cost and low-cost opportunities to improve efficiency on an ongoing basis
• 2012: launched an innovative scheme to turn food waste into bioenergy and fertiliser, working with ReFood, Veolia and retailers
• 2014: one of the first UK shopping centres to go 100% LED, installing 15,000 energy efficient lightbulbs and fittings, cutting energy use and providing a better lit environment for shoppers and retail staff
• 2014: South Yorkshire’s first rapid charging point through the Electric Vehicles Inmotion! Scheme, with shoppers welcoming the chance to charge their vehicles to 80% in just 20-30 minutes.



Efficiency results include:
• 42% reduction in landlord energy use at Meadowhall in six years, saving occupiers £2.5 million and reducing carbon emissions by more than 15,000 tonnes – as much as annual emissions from 2,300 homes
• 10% reductions on electricity savings achieved to March 2015, following the LED lighting replacement, with savings going forward averaging 16% a month
• Over 150 million litres of water sourced through the borehole and rainwater harvesting tanks since 2008 – enough to fill more than 60 Olympic swimming pools
• More than £370,000 income from recyclables segregated in Meadowhall’s recycling facility since 2012, diverting 6,200 tonnes from landfill and cutting waste disposal costs for retail occupiers
• Over 1,600 tonnes of food waste turned into fertilizer and 415,600 kWh of bioenergy at ReFood’s plant in Doncaster since 2012 – as much as the combined weight of 19,000 people
• 65% of Meadowhall staff who signed up to a free public transport trial for a month continued to use public transport to travel to work afterwards, cutting the Centre’s carbon footprint and impact on local congestion.


“Meadowhall has a history of innovative solutions to sustainability issues – from opening an onsite borehole to reduce mains water consumption back in 2008 through to undertaking a complete retrofit of lighting for more efficient LED fittings in 2014. Meadowhall remains an exemplar of our sustainability strategy in action”

- Matthew Webster, Sustainability and Wellbeing Executive at British Land