Peel L&P is on a sustainability journey to becoming a climate resilient business, not only in the built environment but in the natural environment too.
In 2019, Peel L&P published its first Sustainability 5 Year Plan. Reviewed annually, it focuses on key sustainability issues relevant to our activities setting out seven key sustainability principles for creating highly sustainable and future-proofed destinations:
- Create opportunities for people to lead better, more prosperous lives
- Engage with local people to understand the needs of existing and future communities
- Develop highly sustainable and smart built environments
- Embrace a low carbon energy strategy
- Strive to put more back into the natural environment than is taken out
- Support the health and wellbeing of communities by creating beautiful, functional, and well-used green public realm
- Promote sustainable transport options for all
All of our work is underpinned by globally recognised principles and calls to action – The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These ‘Global Goals’ guide our work to embed sustainability into all our placemaking activities. Working in partnership with our stakeholders, we have prioritised the five that are most relevant to our business.
Protos, developed by Peel NRE (part of Peel L&P), is an ever-evolving example of these principles in practice. Over the years, we have been acutely aware of the multi-faceted nature of sustainability challenges. Whilst reaching Net Zero Carbon to tackle climate change is essential – so too are reducing waste and making better use of our resources, creating social value, and increasing biodiversity. We recognise that these are not distinct issues but are all part of an interconnected challenge that we face as a society.
Peel L&P’s latest Sustainability & ESG Report 20/21 tracks progress made, demonstrating a stride forward in all these areas. Last year we saved 2,059 tonnes of carbon emissions and saved 8.7million kilowatt-hours of energy, as well as generating over 6,500 MWh of wind energy. Since 2014, we have effectively reduced our energy consumption by 20%, saving over 16,800 tonnes of CO2 . In addition, as outlined in our Peel NRE Sustainability Plan being at the centre of clean growth and the circular economy, we will make significant contribution to these goals.
And at Protos, we’re striving to make significant contributions. We have invested heavily in natural capital, creating expansive nature areas that are both a haven for wildlife and green spaces that communities can enjoy. This year will see three more habitat-rich spaces completed to support wading and wintering birds and protected species such as water voles, eventually totalling just over 46 hectares (the equivalent to 46 rugby pitches)
These green havens sit side-by-side with energy infrastructure, with even more planned to support a more sustainable society. From generating low carbon energy from wind turbines and a biomass facility to projects such as the UK’s first Plastic Park and the use of non-recyclable plastic to create hydrogen, Protos is holistically planned to underpin the transition to net zero.
With its scale, location, and joined-up approach, Protos can support not only Peel L&P’s sustainability goals, but contribute to the wider North West UK’s goals. The planned Protos Plastic Park alone will recycle and recover up to 367,000 tonnes of plastic which could save 170,000 tonnes of CO2 every year, while creating over 130 jobs.
Such opportunities bring with it the opportunity to invest in social value, be it new training and job opportunities in the low carbon economy or investing in the surrounding communities. Our Protos Community Benefit Fund continues to support local causes, improving local spaces and activities that bring people together and benefit their lives. The latest has seen Horn’s Mill Primary School invest in a Food Recycling and Garden Waste scheme, with youngsters learning how to grow and harvest their own produce from compost they helped make.
The mountain to climb when it comes to sustainability can often seem insurmountable. In the North West, many of the industries that have traditionally employed thousands are energy-intensive and on their own sustainability pathway. Due to its location, Protos will play a pivotal part in that story too, contributing to the energy transition and resilience of a domestic energy supply, at a time of international energy uncertainty. We’ll also be at the forefront of energy innovation, exploring carbon capture and hydrogen technology.
Such progression will all underpin the creation of an inclusive economy, creating opportunities for the diverse communities surrounding Protos and in the wider region.
This will never be ‘job done’ – there are always challenges to address and progress to be made. But, with our sustainability goals continually monitored and assessed, we can be sure we stay on the right track continuing our vison to support a climate resilient future.