Enhancing nature and green spaces

We’re committed to maximising the biodiversity potential of all our development and operational sites. We’ve set a target of achieving a 25% biodiversity net gain across the five sites offering the greatest potential by 2030.

Green infrastructure plays an important role not only in increasing ecological habitat in dense urban environments, but also as a resilience feature to lessen surface rainwater on our sites. Importantly, it provides our customers and local communities with a much-needed connection to nature in their daily lives. Our spaces have a vital role to play in linking enhancements for biodiversity with better customer experiences, and we’re committed to maximising the ecological potential of our development and operational sites. 

Bluewater, Kent

This year we’ve achieved an average 13% uplift in biodiversity net gain from a 2016/17 baseline.

Last year, we worked with an ecologist to conduct site visits at the five sites to evaluate progress from our 2016/17 baseline. The results of this helped us identify further enhancements for the sites so we can reach our 2030 target to achieve a 25% biodiversity net gain across our operational sites currently offering the greatest potential. Once these are complete, we will undertake further ecology studies to identify additional ways to ensure we meet our biodiversity target.

This year, we’re investigating how our business activities depend on and affect nature, so we can integrate nature into decision-making across our operational and development activities. The work will consider the draft recommendations of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and build upon our current commitments, as well as provide biodiversity toolkits to support the whole business in considering how we can best enhance nature and biodiversity through our activities.

Across our retail sites we have replaced hedgerows with native species at White Rose, Leeds, planted trees as part of the Queens Green Canopy at Gunwharf Quays, and introduced a bee hive with 35,000 honey bees at Lewisham Shopping Centre. At White Rose, Leeds, we've restored ponds with native species of planting, and elsewhere we continue to manage and enhance existing areas of landscaping for nature, including kingfisher perches, hedgehog boxes and over 500 trees and shrubs.

Across our development pipeline, we’re going well beyond compliance and achieving significant biodiversity net gain as part of all of our designs, in a way that’s considerate to each site’s ecological context. We are committed to delivering significant biodiversity net gain across all of our new developments and at Nova East for instance, green infrastructure permeates the design from public realm planting, a 15 metre-long green wall, climbing plants at street level and planted terraces, not forgetting a 385 m2 green roof. These features enable us to achieve an exemplary improvement in the local biodiversity and create a green corridor to the nearby Royal Parks.

Our Biodiversity Brief 

 Our Biodiversity Brief  guides our partners to expand on our biodiversity requirements across our portfolio. The document presents an approach to the design, delivery and management of biodiversity across our development sites to be applied by all project teams. The Brief is  applied alongside our Sustainability Brief for Development and is built around the following five key principles and presents an implementation process to be met throughout the planning, development and operational phases of our projects.