Unite Students, the UK’s leading developer and manager of student accommodation, has been awarded a Green Star rating in the
international Global Real Estate Benchmark (GRESB) survey.
The award places Unite amongst those property sector companies which have a positive sustainability policy, but also – vitally – have implemented improvements.
The GRESB Green Star is awarded to companies in the real estate industry which measure, implement, manage and develop sustainability as an integral part of their business.
Unite’s result jumped by almost a third to 54, from last year’s 41. The biggest leap was in Policy & Disclosure which climbed from 31 last year to 63 – a rise of 32 points.
The score places the company seven points above the global average, and Unite’s LED project was highlighted as an innovation case study in the report’s Energy category.
Some key highlights include:
- Residential carbon emissions from gas, electricity and operating Unite’s buildings reduced meaningfully compared to last year, 10-15% across each measure.
- Unite has partnered with Philips Lighting to install state of the art LED lighting and advanced controls in all buildings, including bedrooms. Expected to generate annual savings of around 2,000 tonnes CO2/year – equivalent to total annual emissions of 400 typical UK households. This will reduce Unite’s overall carbon footprint by around 3.5%.
- Climate change risk assessment with the Operations Board which informed their business strategy and planning.
The annual GRESB survey has assessed the work done by companies in the property sector to promote sustainable development since 2009. This year, the survey assessed a total of 637 companies and funds, which manage some 56,000 properties globally.
Unite Students managing director Richard Smith said: “Unite Students has committed itself to being a responsible organisation and a home for success.
“More than that, we’re swiftly on the way to becoming a leader in our sector in the field of sustainability best practice.
“Our staff have been working intelligently and hard on getting these GRESB results, and it’s great to see their efforts reaping rewards.”