Recently, Prologis UK held a lunch and learn session with colleagues to dig deep into our sustainability performance. Hosted by Martin Cooper, Vice President in our Development Management team, we heard from Eight VersaSocial Value PortalPlanet Mark and Cool Earth about how they have worked with us over the years and what we’ve achieved together.

Introducing the session, Martin said “For over 15 years, each Prologis development, supplier engagement, community interaction and charity partnership has been underpinned by a keen focus on responsible business and sustainability. Our approach is based on enduring partnerships, without which we would not be in our market position. But equally, these partners have grown with us, so today we celebrate our achievements and look forward to an even more positive future together.”

Here are our top takeaways:

Setting the standard

Stacey Cougill of Eight Versa explained that BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment for non-residential developments. Independently audited, it provides a framework to improve sustainability throughout the lifetime of a development and allows benchmarking and comparison of a building’s performance. 

Prologis UK has more than 24m sq. ft. of ‘Excellent’ or ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM-certified buildings. As a guide, a score of BREEAM “Excellent” represents the top 10% of UK non-domestic buildings, whilst a BREEAM “Outstanding” rating is in the top 1% of buildings and seen as the cutting edge of sustainable innovation.

Thanks to our continued focus on delivering construction best practice, we achieve a BREEAM “Excellent” rating as minimum standard across all of our new developments in the UK.

Recyclable construction materials and reducing waste to landfill

Improving our sustainability credentials means improving the way we build. Through our commitment to achieving BREEAM excellence, over 80% of materials in Prologis UK buildings are recyclable, and at least 50% of the embodied carbon is ‘circular’ meaning materials can be easily re-used. During construction, we divert at least 95% of construction waste from landfill.

Reducing lifetime carbon emissions and delivering net zero buildings

As part of our “Measure, Reduce and Mitigate” approach to carbon reduction, and in support of our global goal of being Net Zero by 2040, we undertake Lifecyle Carbon Assessments (LCAs) on every building we develop. Since we started doing this in 2010 we have assessed over 88 buildings and, through careful design, have achieved a 28% average lifetime carbon reduction per development, saving 630,297 tCO2e emissions in total. 

Measure, engage, communicate

Steve Malkin of Planet Mark explained how Sustainability Certification helps businesses get to Net Zero. Since Prologis UK started its partnership with them 17 years ago, over 800 businesses have joined the Planet Mark community, including 16 members of Prologis’ supply chain.

Planet Mark verifies Prologis UK’s LCAs, manages our community engagement with schools and helps communicate the positive outcomes. By measuring with Social Value Portal; verifying whole life carbon with Planet Mark; and mitigating unavoidable embodied carbon with Cool Earth, our approach aligns with the UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon – Construction framework. To date Prologis UK has almost 23m sq. ft. of buildings certified by Planet Mark, all of which align with UKGBC Net Zero-construction.

Showcasing sustainability and logistics, and adding Social Value

Prologis is proud to support education and training in sustainability and logistics. Through our long term partnership with Planet Mark and Eden Project we have helped 89 schools and colleges achieve Planet Mark Certification, engaged with over 13,000 primary school students and delivered some 200 workshops. We have also supported Warwickshire College Group (WCG) with a sponsored sustainability programme which has engaged over 2000 students aged 16+ in workshops and e-learning modules.

Student Training at The Hub at DIRFT

Furthermore, in 2021, we established the Prologis Warehouse and Logistics Training Programme (PWLTP).  Delivered in association with Goodwill Solutions, PWLTP is available to anyone who wants to kickstart their career in logistics. It results in industry recognised qualifications helping people of all backgrounds into employment, benefitting them and our customers alike. This ongoing programme has already trained over 650 people and achieved a measured £28million of Social Value.

Prologis first began to measure the Social and Local Economic Value (SLEV) created during the construction of our buildings with Social Value Portal in 2017. Ross Hurmann of Social Value Portal confirmed that since then, our supply chain has generated more than £125million of SLEV by sourcing labour and goods locally, volunteering, working with local groups and showcasing our site works. This has included 600 weeks of apprenticeships, 400 weeks of work experience and 600 weeks of training opportunities. 

We back people, who protect rainforest, and fight climate crisis

Matthew Owen, Cool Earth trustee, told us that rainforests are one of nature’s best defences against climate change. Since 2010, Prologis UK’s unavoidable embodied carbon emissions have been mitigated by protecting rainforest with Cool Earth. By supporting Cool Earth, who in turn work with indigenous communities, Prologis has protected over 18,000 acres of rainforest and locked in over 5.1m tonnes of carbon in Peru and Papua New Guinea. 

This is just the beginning

After an insightful Q&A session, Martin concluded by extending Prologis UK’s huge thanks to every one of our partners who came to talk to us and celebrate the excellent progress we’ve made so far through our ESG efforts. 

“Our partners are at the forefront of what they do, and they continue to support and guide us.  Prologis’ trajectory towards our global goal of Net Zero by 2040 is well planned and we have achieved amazing things thus far.

Our work is far from done. The next steps on our journey will be to continue to help suppliers and promote the very best practice across Prologis’ supply chain, particularly in achieving our Social Value and carbon reduction targets. We also aim to push past BREEAM “Excellent” and EPC A as standard. Our target, wherever possible, is to bring more BREEAM “Outstanding” and EPC A+ developments to the market, giving our customers and local communities the highest standards of sustainable development.” 

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