Bright Programme

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Energy savings for greener shopping centres

Shopping centres consume large amounts of energy, in lighting, heating, cooling and air-conditioning, and to power machinery in the businesses that operate in the centres. The scale of this energy use provides significant opportunities to save resources and cut costs for the centre, its investors and tenants.

In 2013, retail real-estate company Sonae Sierra developed an audit and management system to improve energy efficiency in shopping centres – the Bright Programme. The programme looks at every aspect of a shopping centre’s operations, from building operation and energy sources to the behaviour of the people using it. There are five phases:

  1. Analysis of a site’s energy use, and comparison with other sites in the group;
  2. Recommendations for improvements, with a calculation of their savings;
  3. Technical support for the centre for the savings measures;
  4. Monitoring subsequent energy consumption;
  5. Energy management tools to continue to use energy as wisely as possible.

The programme has found energy savings in even the most energy-efficient sites. Bright has recommended 218 improvements in the 28 centres it has assessed across Europe, with 182 already implemented and a further 36 in progress.

Since 2013, a total of EUR 2.4 million has been invested – with three-quarters of improvements costing very little or nothing. In 2016 alone, these cut the centres’ total energy use by 12 % and saved EUR 2.7 million. 

When the improvements are complete, Sonae Sierra expects to save up to EUR 4.2 million in electricity in each year, which is equal to 40 % of Sonae Sierra’s 2016 carbon footprint.