Retailers Growing Greener with JLL at Queensgate


At Queensgate Shopping Centre, 83% of retailers have committed to the Growing Greener pledge, an initiative led by the centre team to reduce energy use, waste and water consumption and so cut costs. Retailer audits identified savings opportunities and an awards scheme recognised top performers. Through Growing Greener, Queensgate has improved sustainability performance and JLL now plans to roll out the initiative across its UK portfolio of shopping centres.





Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough is home to over 90 stores and 15 places to eat. The 78,000m2 scheme attracts 15 million visitors a year. It is owned by Invesco and managed by JLL, which is increasing value for clients, investors and other stakeholders through its global sustainability strategy, Building a Better Tomorrow.

Queensgate has a strong track record on sustainability, winning several awards. The centre has held ISO 14001 accreditation for environmental management since 2011 and became the UK’s first shopping centre to achieve the new ISO 14001:2015 standard in early 2016.

Led by Queensgate’s Environmental Manager, Growing Greener launched in November 2013. Objectives include:

  • Maximising the efficiency of use of natural resources
  • Improving quality of recycling to increase rebates
  • Reducing energy use, water consumption and CO2 emissions.

JLL is exploring opportunities to introduce Growing Greener across other areas of the portfolio as part of its Building a Better Tomorrow.


Through Growing Greener, an Environmental Assistant analysed energy use, waste management and water consumption across 65 retailers, flagging opportunities for improvement. These included optimising heating and cooling settings, ensuring lighting is off out-of-hours by fitting ‘last person out’ switches in store fit out, providing clear bags to support better segregation of cardboard, plastic, glass and food waste, installing energy efficient LED lighting and fitting water saving devices in toilet cisterns.

The top ten retailers, small and large, were recognised for their energy efficiency, recycling, water efficiency, engagement and overall improved performance at the first Growing Greener Awards. Held at the London Transport Museum in April 2015, the ceremony was hosted by Liz Parkes, Deputy Director of Climate Change at the Environment Agency. The winners were awarded Green Apples in association with the Green Organisation and floor vinyls were put in front of stores, so customers could see their success.

Supporting initiatives include:

  • 120 staff completed one-day induction training on environmental awareness, with refresher courses every two years
  • Introduction of natural ventilation throughout the centre as part of a programme to replace the roof lights
  • Detailed energy monitoring through the Building Management System, Trend Energy Management module
  • ‘Switch me off’ and ‘Every drop counts’ labels in back-of-house areas for staff awareness
  • Recycling bins throughout the centre for customers
  • Travel Plan encouraging staff to leave their cars at home and use greener, healthier transport choices
  • Installation of six electric car charging points. eVolt was chosen as it is compatible with the centre’s SKIDATA car park ticket system, so when people pay their ticket on departure, the electricity feed switches off
  • Green lease clauses for new leases, requiring the sharing of energy and waste information
  • British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICS) training room for team members, created for free by re-using discarded materials.

Plans for 2017 include:

  • Mall lighting refresh, with LED replacements, improved lighting controls and reduced circuits
  • Improved insulation and roof covering
  • 7,150m2 development planned, with a cinema and restaurants, including a location for PV (photovoltaic panels)
  • Rainwater harvesting.

Benefits and financials

£4,000 invested to fund the Environmental Advisor for six months.

Queensgate performance in areas managed by JLL:

  • 45% reduction in energy use over five years, saving occupiers £125,000
  • 40% cut in CO2 over five years, saving almost 5,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions
  • 39% less water use over five years, saving occupiers £10,000
  • Zero waste to landfill since 2015, with residual waste sent for incineration
  • 99% recycling in 2016, diverting 385 tonnes from landfill and averting £32,500 in landfill tax.

Opportunities identified in retailer areas:

  • 31% energy and water cost savings – saving retailers £477,000
  • 4.3 million kWh energy savings – enough to power 1,100 homes for a year
  • 3 million litres water savings – enough to more than fill an Olympic swimming pool
  • 2,900 tonnes CO2 savings.

Additional benefits include

  • Providing customers with car charging point service, with 914 usages last year, a 121% increase on the previous year
  • Strengthening retailer relationships, with overwhelming support for Growing Greener by store managers and at head office level
  • Enhancing the sustainability credentials of the retailers and Queensgate, and supporting JLL’s Building a Better Tomorrow strategy
  • Encouraging sustainable travel. 30% of people working at the centre use public transport, 25% walk or cycle and 8% car share. 27% of visitors use public transport, 11% walk or cycle and 23% car share
  • Winning local and national awards, including:
  1. 2017 Investors in the Environment – Great Green Star Award
  2. 2017 Travelchoice Travel Plan Awards – Silver
  3. 2016 ISO14001:2015 Accredited
  4. 2016 Sceptre Energy Management Award – Winner
  5. 2016 Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice – Retailers
  6. 2016 Travelchoice Travel Plan Awards – Gold
  7. 2016 Peterborough Business Awards – Environmental Achievement Finalist
  8. 2016 Investors in the Environment – Great Green Star Award.

Challenges & Achievements


How to support retailers with sustainability?

Queensgate kick-started Growing Greener by hiring an Environmental Assistant as part of a six-month graduate placement, in partnership with Peterborough DNA and Change Agents UK. This was a cost-effective solution that offered the graduate the chance to gain valuable experience, while providing the centre team and retailers with support. The Environmental Assistant arranged one-hour meetings with store managers, running through a series of questions, visiting the stores and collecting energy, water and waste data, reading meters where needed. The centre team then evaluated the information and developed personalised reports for each retailer, providing scores and recommendations on how to achieve savings. Top performers were recognised at the Growing Greener Awards. Follow up visits in 2017 will monitor progress, review savings and identify further opportunities. The Queensgate team also provides ongoing support for retailers, such as travel plan sessions for staff.


How to engage customers in sustainability?

Information about Growing Greener is displayed around the centre, from small stickers on the windows of participating retailers, to large banners showcasing the centre’s sustainability performance and retailer initiatives. In March 2016, Queensgate also hosted On the Move with Growing Greener, a free event encouraging customers to make greener and healthier travel choices, and celebrating achievements at Queensgate. Participating retailers included Boost, Richardson Cycles, Tiger and Trespass. Free activities included pedal-powered smoothie-making, Zumba and interactive games with Peterborough Travelchoice, which encourages sustainable travel. 

Find out more

James Pearson

Sustainability Analyst P&AM



Carol Wakelin

Environmental Manager

Queensgate Shopping Centre