Going green in shoppers' haven
OVER the past three years, St Stephen's has introduced a range of green initiatives.
From control switches that turn off appliances when not in use to replacing lights with LEDs, the Hull shopping centre has almost erased its carbon footprint, saving 675 tonnes of Co2 emissions and almost £140,000 on energy and water bills.
Meanwhile, its sustainable rainwater harvesting system, which takes more than 1.3 million litres a year of rainwater from the roof to flush the public toilets, has helped the business save 35 million litres of water.
Not stopping there, the centre's zero-to-landfill policy ensures that 100 per cent of waste is recycled or incinerated for energy recovery while its installation of East Yorkshire's first public car charging points helped position St Stephen's as one of the city's greenest organisations. As centre manager, Jim Harris points out the centre's environmental ambitions are about so much more than corporate box-ticking.
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He said: "The environmental policies and procedures in place are not just words – there is no shortage of evidence to demonstrate the actions that are being taken every day to deliver outstanding performance in environmental awareness, energy efficiency and sustainable activity.
"Through an effective internal communications programme, staff and retailers are encouraged to suggest new ideas regarding energy management.
"Many of the initiatives in place were suggested by occupiers."
To maximise use of natural lighting during the day, St Stephen's was created with a dramatic glazed roof.
But instead of resting on its laurels, the centre continues to find additional ways to build on this feature, and where artificial light is necessary, it works hard to reduce energy consumption as far as possible.
A "leak detection survey", which led to savings of about ten million litres of water is another green string to St Stephen's bow, while waterless urinals save about 100,000 litres of water each year.
These are complemented by an almost exhaustive list of measures, from dual flush toilet cisterns and adjustable taps to additional motion and light sensors.
Mr Harris said: "Over the coming years, energy-saving initiatives will continue to be a priority.
"Recycling initiatives will remain a priority and we also hope to implement further integrated renewable systems into the building to complement our harvested rainwater system."