Corporate responsibility

Great Portland Estates recognises that managing and balancing environmental, social and economic issues is key to ensuring the long-term sustainability of its business and is integral to the Group’s operating approach.

During the course of the year ended 31 March 2011 the Group has:

  • implemented Energy Actions Plans in place for each building to help to improve the energy efficiency of our portfolio;
  • begun implementation of a new energy management software system to record meter readings and energy consumption to provide better reporting on energy figures both internally and to tenants;
  • fully achieved 24 out of 40 of its corporate responsibility and sustainability targets;
  • updated its Sustainability Framework;
  • maintained our position as a leading company for transparency and disclosure evidenced by external recognition;
  • made targeted improvements to the local environment surrounding significant parts of the Group’s portfolio to maximise appeal to current and prospective tenants; and
  • been actively involved on numerous committees within organisations serving to promote and develop the property industry.

Board oversight

The Board has responsibility for the approval of policy relating to social, environmental and health and safety matters and is determined to apply high standards to all areas in which the Group operates including the management of the joint venture operations on behalf of the joint venture partners. The Board approves the Group’s Health & Safety and Environment policies and annual objectives and targets in light of the Group’s Corporate Responsibility risks, Value Statement and strategy.

See how we have progressed against our targets

In addition, the Board receives annual reports on the environment, health and safety and corporate responsibility and regular reports during the course of the year from Toby Courtauld and Timon Drakesmith on health and safety and environmental matters, where appropriate.

Energy Action Plans

Our Energy Action Plans have identified a number of opportunities to improve our energy efficiencies across our portfolio. During the year, we have installed more energy efficient light fittings at 61% of our buildings, and made enhancements to over 31% of the portfolio through improvements to our boiler and air conditioning equipment, increased insulation and installation of secondary glazing. Where large scale alterations have been recommended, these have been included within our ongoing refurbishment programme.


The Corporate Responsibility, Health & Safety and Environmental Working Groups chaired by Timon Drakesmith and including representatives from Development, Asset Management and Finance are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of progress of the Group’s corporate responsibility and sustainability targets.

At the beginning of 2010 we set a total of 40 corporate responsibility and sustainability targets covering the key areas of:

  • environment and the portfolio;
  • tenants and the community;
  • our people;
  • suppliers; and
  • health and safety.

Twenty four of these were fully achieved. If targets were not achieved, we analysed the reasons for failure and, as appropriate, changed our procedures and, where relevant, included them again for 2011/2012 to emphasise our commitment.

See our progress against our targets