Canary Wharf Group

14 Nov 2018

“Our overall message on sustainability is about resilience. We provide a really robust, flexible shell-and-core model that can be adapted to suit different tenants. That’s inherently sustainable because it lends itself to a longer life. We design to the Eurocode, which specifies a building design life of 50 years. But we know that concrete can have a much longer lifecycle and we certainly don’t intend to tear our buildings down after just 50 years.

Because we’re the client, contractor, developer and landlord, we’re having this dialogue all the time. We set out as a fully integrated team to develop the most sustainable solution that we can, applying our own, very detailed sustainability brief on all projects. It covers six major elements: tenant fit-outs, refurbishment, biodiversity, sustainable procurement, zero waste, and health, wellbeing and productivity. Only after we’ve considered what we can achieve through that do we do a BREEAM pre-assessment - and guess what? Through this approach, we’re able to achieve Outstanding.

When we’ve used BREEAM as a checklist, it’s been challenging to achieve even Excellent [the level below Outstanding]. For our supply chain, it’s a given that we only use concrete certified to BES 6001 and we already do a whole-life carbon analysis of our developments. But we will be going a lot further in future, considering the lifecycle of our major materials and supply chain in light of the Paris climate agreement.

We will work with our suppliers to explore how, as a team, we can deliver zero-carbon concrete. That’s what we’ve got to get to, and that’s where we’re going.” Martin Gettings is group head of sustainability at Canary Wharf Group.