First major shopping centre in Europe hits carbon net zero

One of the continent’s biggest malls has set a benchmark for emissions and waste reduction, forging ahead on the retail sector’s path to sustainability.

Docks Bruxsel, situated on the banks of the Brussels canal, boast more than 100 shops, an indoor adventure park, 15 restaurants and a 1,500 capacity event space. Early-March, an assessment of environmental performance carried out by CO2logic/South Pole resulted in the award of a CO2 Neutral – Gold Company certification for the complex. 

The fabric of the facility has played a huge part in efforts to bring down over carbon footprint. A natural ventilation system means that standard – and high energy consuming – air conditioning is not needed. A 580m³ recovery basin means captured rainwater, once treated, feeds sanitary facilities, cleaning operations and on-site cooling systems. 

Iconic green walls at Docks Bruxsel are also watered using a special rainwater filtering method, and  the mall roof is home to a pair of beehive houses and 80,000 bees, helped achieve an ‘Excellent’ rating in the construction sector from BREEAM. But energy production is arguably the real key to  net zero success here.

4,500m² of of solar panels are in use to help power the site. Energy from heat produced by a nearby incinerator is also utilised. Last Christmas, this infrastructure meant Docks Bruxsel could fill its ice rink with rainwater, and power the facility using 100% green energy, sourced on-site.

‘Docks benefits from exceptional design and build with regard to low carbon emissions, this was part of our rationale for investing in Docks. Our team have worked tirelessly to further reduce the carbon emissions, to provide inclusive access and our ESG strategy,’ said Peter Todd, Founder of Portus Retail and Asset Manager, which owns Docks Bruxsel.

‘We are very pleased and proud to be the first large scale shopping centre to have achieved CO2 neutral status and gold certification. We continue working to further reduce our carbon emissions; an environmental and socially inclusive strategy is essential to us, our investors, tenants and customers and part of the DNA of Docks.’

Image: Docks Bruxsel / WikiCommons 


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