The value of partnership and innovation in energy reduction

5 December 2016


Charles Sainsbury, Energy Manager, discusses the future for energy

With responsibility for maintaining some of our most prestigious assets, we recently set NG Bailey the challenge of expediting energy savings across six of our most energy hungry buildings, working in conjunction with our operations teams on the ground. And EMEX, the UK’s Energy Management Exhibition, was the perfect platform to showcase our recent energy reduction partnership work across the London Portfolio, sharing the stage with NG Bailey’s Head of Energy, Chris Coath.

Together we spoke about the way we used data from our buildings more effectively to understand and improve their performance. We also spoke about the way we integrated responsibility for energy management with onsite engineers as standard, and ultimately, the contribution the programme had made towards Land Securities’ ambitious energy and carbon reduction targets. We shared the rapid results we achieved that exceeded expectations, so much so that we even scooped the award for ‘Most Inspiring Energy Reduction Project of the Year’!

Detail aside, our key message was around the value of partnership. We all know that in our hectic multi-stakeholder world, that unless we truly work in collaboration with our key partners, our chances of achieving meaningful results become limited. Clearly partnership is crucial. But moving further, the key question is how are we going to achieve targets to reduce energy and carbon by 40%, by 2030? Indeed this was a question from the floor and is one I often give a lot of thought to.

Well, I don’t have all the answers just yet. However, it was apt that we delivered our talk on the Technology and Innovation stage and I am a firm believer that technology holds the key in de-carbonising commercial real estate portfolio’s over the medium to long term. Given recent global political events, the Trump terrors and Brexit blues, it would be all too easy to let the clouds of pessimism gather over the energy and climate agenda. However, I was genuinely inspired at EMEX by the level of optimism for the future and the array of innovative technical solutions on display, designed at cutting the energy demand of buildings.

Ten years ago, could anyone have predicted the UK would have over 10GW of solar capacity installed and be the largest solar market in Europe by 2016? No.

Are so-called ‘emerging technologies’ happening right now and ready for wide scale deployment? Yes.

It is just a matter of time until battery technology allows us to store the power generated from our solar panels, using it to power our appliances when we get home from work and charge our electric powered vehicles ready for the next day.

At an international level, this optimism was recently shared by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon who, in spite of recent threats from America’s new president to quit the Paris Climate Deal, stated that action on climate change has become “unstoppable”.

Collectively we must aim to be ahead of the curve and continue to believe that working with our key partners to identify and implement innovative technology will provide the solution to our goals.


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