Martineau Place, Birmingham, has halved its carbon footprint – with an innovative system to recycle waste. The system is part of a ‘Go Green’ scheme to lessen the impact of businesses on the environment.

The centre, which produces up to 842 tonnes of rubbish yearly, has halved the amount of carbon it produces by implementing new bailer equipment that recycles cardboard and plastic waste materials. Now more than 60 per cent of the centre’s waste is recycled and, as a result, a much smaller amount is going to landfill. This, in turn, has led to fewer vehicle collections and, more crucially, lower CO² emissions.

Such an environmentally-sound scheme also has its business benefits, as Graham Evans, the centre manager, explained: “Reducing material consumption and waste generation not only improves the effect we have upon the environment, it has a positive effect upon the business also. Despite these turbulent economic times, by making small adjustments such as this we are ensuring our business continues to develop.”

This is a national issue identifiable in all retail centres. The British Council of Shopping Centres has outlined the four main areas that impact on shopping centres today within the environment.

They have pinpointed waste, water, energy and community sustainability. Mr Evans added: “We believe we are already leading the field in waste and community sustainability. Moving into 2009, similar schemes will aim to target the issues of energy and water.”