September saw the annual Workman Retail & Leisure 2018 Conference, which as well as providing a range of external speakers for our centre management teams and opportunities to share best practice across our shopping centres, included the 2018 “Peter Callagher” Sustainability and Wellbeing award. This award is made annually to an initiative which stands out as innovative or exceptional and once again we were impressed with the calibre of entries. This year saw an increase in those targeting wellbeing but also those that reminded us that the core environmental goals of reduced energy, water and waste are still fundamental pillars of what we do.
We are delighted to announce that the winner this year was Mercury Mall, Romford with their fantastically innovative “Power of Footsteps” initiative. In May 2018 they were the first shopping centre in the world (we believe!) to install a fixed kinetic floor that seeks to generate off grid energy from the power of footsteps crossing the entrance to the mall. The “Pavegen” floor engages customers of the centre with an app which counted their footsteps and turned them into rewards to use in the centre. The full award submission can be found here and demonstrates just how far reaching one initiative can be.
Congratulations must also go to a number of other incredibly strong contenders – the judges really did have a hard job in deciding this year. The Ridings Centre introduced their Cuppa Club initiative which, through linking up with Age UK, creates events to encourage older people to visit, interact with others and enjoy free entertainment and refreshments. This is so simple but gives so much back to local communities and is now being rolled out across NewRiver’s portfolio. Read the full case study here.
Clifton Downs #RefreshYourFootprint case study, was all about “Making Art Not Rubbish” resulting in a unique art installation. Larger than life and environmentally-themed footprints were designed and created by local primary school children, to raise awareness of key eco-themes both at their school and in line with the Centre’s environmental KPIs.
There were a number of other great ideas ranging from creating an oasis of tranquillity at the Pentagon, excelling at customer service at The Howgate Falkirk, Touchwood Solihull obtaining Workman’s first ISO50001 accreditation and The Swan Centre, Eastleigh going back to basics and finding yet more energy savings. A selection of the submissions for these projects can be found here for inspiration – we look forward to working with all our centre management teams to come up with even more innovative ideas in 2019.