Here at Chantry Place we recognise that fulfilling the needs of our customers today should not be at the expense of future generations.
Across a range of environmental, social and governance measures, through policies, processes and practices, we’ve done much over many years to be a sustainable business and we are committed to continually looking to do better. Here is some of our story so far:
Chantry Place opened in 2005 and was built with sustainability in mind. The Centre is naturally ventilated, meaning that we don’t have multiple, expensive to run and typically not very effective, air handling units providing hot air in the winter or chilled air in the summer.
In 2023 our electrical consumption was 65% below that of 2007
We’ve been able to do this by continuously challenging ourselves on how we manage the Centre, investing in and updating our building management systems, removing superfluous lighting where we can and converting what we need to programmable, low energy LED units.
In 2016 we spent £190,000 to create a solar farm made up of 772 panels on our roof and to date it has generated enough electricity to boil a kettle over 11 million times. In 2023 we invested a further £285,000 on an additional 518 panels, so our now 1,290 solar panels will generate 407,000 kWh per year providing 41 per cent of our annual energy needs. The solar farm is expected to have a 25-year working life.
We want Chantry Place to have zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2030. For Scope 1 (direct emissions) we will replace gas boilers with electric heaters when they need to be replaced and our vehicles are already EV. For Scope 2 (indirect emissions) what we don’t generate ourselves is already procured from certifiable renewable sources.
In 2023 we replaced the gas boiler serving the Dining Terrace toilets with an electric heater supported by an Air Source Heat Pump that pre heats the water meaning less energy is used to provide hot water to the washbasins, and in 2024 we’ve done the same for the Lower Ground toilets.
Since 2016 we’ve been collecting used coffee grounds (1.8 tonnes per year on average) from many of our caterers, packaging them up in the bags they came in and making them freely available to our visitors to use as compost, reducing the amount of waste generated at the Centre and providing a great, natural resource for our shoppers.
In 2023, 743 tonnes of waste were collected from our retailers and caterers and with their help we were able to segregate it into multiple different streams (cardboard, soft plastics, organic waste, metal, batteries, light bulbs, wood, pallets, WEEE & cooking oil) so that 48% could be recycled. The rest was then incinerated to generate energy for the benefit of others.
Our waste management practices in 2023 saved:
- 766,392 m3 of CO2
- 1,979,153 kWh of energy
- 4,675,694 litres of water
- 3,041 trees
Please see below for a short video of our waste story for 2023
Since 2023 the food waste generated at site has been processed at a local anaerobic digestion plant. The gas generated is sold to a gas supplier and used to provide energy to local towns and the two, high quality by-products (liquid and solid fertilisers) are then used by local farmers.
Supporting the cultural and charitable sectors in our community, as well as our partners and neighbours to promote the fantastic offering in Norwich.
In 2023 we worked with 13 partners and charities on campaigns and welcomed them to the Centre. Banham Zoo, Africa Alive, Norwich Pride, Alive UK, Break, RSPB, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Norwich Theatre Royal, Norwich Science Festival, Norcon and SchooDoodle.
In 2024, we will be working with many of these partners again, as well as Orchard Toys and more to be revealed.
Alive UK, which provides emergency support for people in crisis in Norfolk, has collection boxes at Chantry Place. Our Alive Christmas appeal collected 2,101 gifts that helped over 900 families in Norfolk and included 348 children who were homeless at Christmas.
Managing health, safety and fire risks for our visitors and staff alike remains a key focus for all the team. We are independently audited with our latest (Jan 2024) scores being 99.3% in health and safety, 100% in environmental compliance, and 96.3% for fire. All three of the minor actions arising from these audits have been completed.
All contractors working on site have the requisite insurances in place and have to submit a risk and method statement before any works access is approved.
There are currently (as at November 2023) 1,438 full and part time employees working at Chantry Place which makes us one of the largest single site employment centres in Norfolk.
We have been paying the ‘real living wage’ since 2021 and in 2023 became an accredited Living Wage Foundation employer.
In 2018 we were the first Changing Places WC in the city centre, providing a much needed service to help people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as people with other complex needs. It includes a height adjustable changing bench and a ceiling mounted clip hoist that users attach to their own sling. The room was fitted to the Changing Places Gold Standard and has a fully automated, height adjustable wash basin and mirror, a privacy screen and non-slip floor.
We host autism friendly trading every Monday between 4pm and 6pm for all visitors. During this time, noise in the Centre will be kept to a minimum with music turned down, lights dimmed and sensory stimulation reduced for any events and demos in the Centre. Only essential and urgent announcements will be broadcast.
We undertake surveys of staff and visitors alike to inform our travel plan from which we have set ourselves the following targets to achieve by the end of 2024 (versus 2022 actuals).
In addition to the multiple facilities available to the public, our dedicated secure cycle park for staff near Coburg Street is now open, helping staff choose two wheels over four.
As part of our welcome to new colleagues, their induction to the business includes training modules in diversity & inclusion, autism awareness and dementia awareness.
Within our 1,000 space car park, we have 49 disabled parking spaces and 58 wider parent / child bays.
We’ve partnered with Zest to increase our electric vehicle charging bays from 6 to 8 and these can be found along row 24 on the -2 level of the car park.
In addition to our life cycle management plan where we identify plant, machinery and other building infrastructure that may need replacing over the next 10 years, and from that determine the most cost effective and environmentally solution to adopt, we are also developing an ‘asset sustainability plan’ that considers every aspect of the Centre’s operations and business to ensure that future decisions are inherently sustainable.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) tell how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). We hold EPCs for all our let space and are working with our tenants to improve the ratings and with them the environmental performance of the Centre.
BREEAM in Use is an independently assessed set of standards to provide a framework to enable property investors, owners, managers and occupiers to determine and drive sustainable improvements in the operational performance of their assets, leading to benchmarking, assurance and validation of operational asset data. We’ll be looking to assess ourselves against those standards, applying the learning gained and seeking accreditation in 2024.
ISO 14001 sets out the criteria and maps out a framework for an environmental management system. This too is independently audited and provides assurance to company management and employees, as well as external stakeholders, that environmental impact is being measured and improved. We’ll be seeking accreditation against this standard in Q1 2024