Monday, August 16, 2021

UKWA Leads the Way on Responding to the Costs and Sustainability of Commercial Warehousing

Latest Consultations Elicit Comprehensive Responses
Shipping News Feature

UK – Unsurprisingly, given the nature of many of its members, the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) has been at the forefront of all matters pertaining to commercial property and its associated developments and costs etc., particularly in recent years.

One prominent feature of the Association’s conferences of late, before Covid interfered, has been the presence of, and presentations by, estate and property agents who have always managed to erase the wicked stereotypical personality so often put upon them by demonstrating their broad knowledge of the market and of trends in warehouse construction and development.

Now the UKWA has convened its Real Estate Advisory Board, comprising just such leading commercial and industrial property developers and agents, to prepare comprehensive responses to two important consultations on behalf of the warehousing industry.

The first consultation, by the Government, relates to proposed changes to Business Rates, including more frequent valuations (3 yearly rather than 5 yearly), to reflect economic changes sooner and make rates fairer. The consultation closes on August 24.

The second was launched by UK Green Business Council and sought feedback from relevant sectors in the built environment on its Whole Life Carbon Net Zero Roadmap, which will be published in time for UK’s hosting of COP26 in November 2021. The survey closed on August 15. Commenting on the consultations, UKWA CEO Clare Bottle observed:

“Both these issues will affect the businesses of our members and as the voice of the industry, we felt it important to gather views from major influencers in order to prepare an informed, coherent response to each consultation. Advice and input from the real estate sector as well as UKWA board members was extremely valuable and we are pleased to be able to contribute to the process.

“Sustainability is high on our agenda, and while transport accounts for 25% of carbon emission, 11% is from embodied carbon in the built environment. Therefore, as part of that built environment, it is important that the warehousing industry steps up to take our share of responsibility for achieving Net Zero by 2050.”

Certainly no self-respecting developer would embark on construction of new warehouse premises without keeping a weather eye on BREEAM standards and ensuring that all the technology and availability, ranging from solar panels and heat pumps to recyclable construction materials and where and how they are sourced and delivered, are included in the process.

Photo: This 90,000 square foot warehouse was provided by PROLOGIS for Raja UK in 2020 and includes such features as solar heated water.