November should have marked the introduction of new biodiversity net gain rules in the UK planning system. 

1709 Logicor Park Daventry site tour November 2023

Logicor Park, Daventry

Although their introduction has been delayed, it is a move which, when it comes, will mark a new chapter for sustainable development – one based on shared ambition and a consistent framework to deliver. While we wait the new rules to come into play, it felt right to reflect on actions we can still control within industry to drive the positive change we want to see for planet and people.

At Logicor, we provide the real estate that enables the flow of trade vital to everyday life. It is our responsibility to ensure we provide future-fit, sustainable real estate that minimises our carbon footprint and in doing so, can help to minimise the environmental impact of our partners.

Although it is often overlooked, the logistics real estate market is what connects successful economies –bringing businesses together with partners, customers and products. We can’t shy away from the role we play in keeping business moving, and in keeping sustainable progress on track, which is why at Logicor we established our 5-year ESG roadmap for positive change in 2020 and why we remain committed to being a fully climate resilient business by 2030.

Reducing carbon

Approximately 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint comes from the built environment [UKGBC]. To meaningfully lower this figure, we must consider every step in the development journey and find sustainable solutions for the many different stages in a building’s lifecycle. We’re proud to have a varied portfolio with sites for businesses, big and small, in strategic locations across the UK. However, this variety also means the sites we operate have very different needs and are facing different challenges.

Take Logicor Park Dartford as an example. A new development, completed as part of the Littlebrook Power Station redevelopment in January this year, which presented an opportunity to design for a positive impact from the outset. As a result, the site encourages more sustainable commutes through state-of-the-art facilities for cyclists and EV charging points. The building is also fitted with solar PV roof panels to generate energy that can be used onsite. These features are among many that helped us reach EPC A and BREEAM Excellent ratings.

1709 Logicor Park Daventry site tour November 2023 (7)

Logicor Park Daventry site tour

But the reality is, building green from Day One isn’t always an option. There are some sites that are ready to be refurbished across the UK where we have to apply more creative sustainability strategies, which is critical if we’re to support UK businesses in reducing their carbon footprint. For example, we recently refurbished three units at Lakeside Industrial Estate Redditch to incorporate PVC windows and more effective heating and cooling systems that are already proving to have been transformative to the site’s energy use. The opportunity to refurbish and modernise existing and well-located sites to meet today’s high sustainability standards is a vital part for how the industry will meet its ambitious carbon reduction targets.

Championing biodiversity

The UK has lost approximately 41% of its species since the 1970s. In this context, championing biodiversity to ensure developments serve nature as well as communities is more important than ever. Though new legislation to tackle this issue may have been delayed, it’s encouraging to see developers of all shapes and sizes talking more about, and prioritising, biodiversity in their actions. For the sake of our native wildlife, protecting local habitats and driving long-term biodiversity gains must be shared commitments.

It’s also plain business sense. Part of our role as asset managers is to demonstrate how biodiversity gains can lead to a better customer and employee experience. It’s important everyone in our value chain understands why and how biodiversity can be mutually beneficial for planet and people. Just this week, for example, we celebrated work beginning at Logicor Park Daventry, our flagship new site in the UK’s Golden Triangle. It will be home to 2.2 acres of native woodland and 4,500 trees, saplings, and local species of plant, and will deliver tangible health benefits for our customers and their employees and support happier, healthier and more productive teams.

Ultimately, logistics has a unique opportunity to unlock sustainable value that benefits the whole UK economy. From tackling excess carbon use to protecting biodiversity, small changes we can all commit to today can help us reach a greener, more efficient future that supports planet, people and business equally.

Ben Brakes, Director of Sustainability, Logicor