From the sustainable shopping centre to sustainable communities
Buildings represent a large fraction of global carbon emissions and energy consumption. Our centres affect local communities in several ways, and sustainability is also present in how we plan to develop our centres. In the coming years, we will, to a larger extent, offer much more than shopping. Our mixed-use centres will have even more services, residentials, hotels and offices. For the whole entity, we aim for environmentally certified and carbon-neutral buildings by 2030.
This development is in line with creating sustainable communities. By integrating sustainability measures into our daily operations, we aim to do more than expected to achieve sustainable development. Below are a few examples of how we do this.
Proximity and Easy Access
Mixed-use centres are located close to people, in urban hubs with excellent connections to public transport. Access to commuter rail, metro and buses is seamless or integrated into the centre itself. All Citycon’s centres are accessible by public transport.
Environmentally-Friendly and Healthy Transportation
Ample bicycle parking and good pedestrian access make it easy to leave the car at home. Designated parking spaces and charging stations for electric vehicles and electric bicycles encourage environmentally-friendly modes of transportation. There are over 4300 dedicated bicycle parking spaces and over 400 EV charging points at our centres. In 2020 half of our visitors visited us by public transport foot or bicycle.
Energy- and Water-Efficient Solutions
There is a host of big and small technical solutions that minimise energy consumption: effective heat recovery from technical systems and appliances, LED lighting in both common areas and shops, optimised ventilation, low-flow water fixtures and toilets, as well as waterless urinals save both water and energy.
Citycon’s Buskerud Storsenter became the first shopping centre to use CO2 as a refrigerant for carbon neutral comfort cooling for its entire building. Using CO2 as a refrigerant benefits energy efficiency, as it enhances surplus heat recovery, as well as transference of heat and cooling within the building. Energy consumption at Buskerud has decreased by 34% compared to its pre-refurbished state.
Some of the energy needed is produced by centres locally, using fossil fuel-free resources. Solar panels on the roof produce electricity and provide shade, which also reduces the need for cooling during summer. Geothermal heating and cooling reduces the need for external heat and cooling. The largest geothermal heating and cooling energy plant in Europe for a commercial building is being built under Lippulaiva and will generate carbon-free energy to meet the shopping centre’s heating and cooling needs. Lippulaiva will be a Nearly Zero Energy Building. Jakobsbergs Centrum converted to geothermal heating and cooling in 2016, and in 2018 expanded the use of renewal energy with photovoltaics. The centre now has the first combined solar and geoenergy plant installed in a shopping centre in Sweden. Six of our centres currently produce solar electricity.
November 2019 Citycon opened a solar plant on the roof of Down Town shopping centre. The plant is the world's largest solar plant with snow melting technology and consists of 8,000 square meters of solar panels. The solar plant will annually produce energy equivalent to the consumption of about 40 houses or 100 apartments, and it will cover 15 percent of the shopping centre's energy needs.
Waste Management and Maintenance
Well-planned and conducted waste management provides both tenants and visitors with the possibility to reduce, reuse and recycle, as well as dispose of waste in a sustainable way. At Citycon we have several initiatives for engaging with our tenants to enhance our recycling and waste management, ranging from online waste sorting training to a weighing system of different waste fractions and recycling coordinators giving hands-on advice about how to sort and recycle in the best possible way.
Environmentally-Friendly and Healthy Materials
Low carbon materials and recycled building elements reduce the carbon footprint of the building. Focusing on the building materials used also ensures a good indoor climate. A green roof has both aesthetic and practical benefits: it provides isolation that reduces the need of heating during winter and cooling during summer. Green roofs retain rainwater, easing storm water management during heavy rains. They improve air quality by filtering noxious gases and can help support local biodiversity. Our biggest green roof is at Mölndal Galleria. At 4,000 sq.m. it measures the equivalent of 15 tennis courts.
Local Engagement and Services
Our centres are meeting points for local residents and provide spaces for local engagement. With libraries, public health care units, film theatres and more, our centres are a place for much more than just shopping. We also organize events involving various communities in and around our centres, such as Wall of Hope projects together with local charity organisations. Customers can bring unnecessary goods to Wall of Hope in our centres and those in need, in turn, can go and pick up the needed items.