Sustainable Energy Use at Mahon Point Shopping Centre
Here at Mahon Point Shopping Centre, we have a very strong commitment to the sustainable use of energy. We have undertaken a number of projects over the years and it is still a work in progress as we are continually identifying new opportunities.
From ensuring that none of our waste goes to landfill, to exploring more renewable energy sources, we are very committed to doing our bit to save the planet.
And many of our retail supply partners are also committed to sustainable energy, notably our weekly Farmers Market.
Below is an example of some of the initiatives we have undertaken, and be assured, we have plans for more…
In summer 2020 we installed a large number of Photo Voltaic (PV) panels on the roof of the centre.
We now have a very substantial 952 square metres of PV panels which will generate in the order of 160,000 kWh of electricity per annum used to power the public areas of the shopping centre.
Expected full year CO2 emission savings for 2021 is 75 tonnes (equivalent to planting 450 trees to offset these emissions!).
This will make a significant contribution to carbon reduction and energy savings at the centre along with helping our environment. Generating our own renewable electricity allows us consume energy that is clean and cuts down on our greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2018 we initiated our LED lighting project by replacing all lights in the six external open car parks.
In 2019, we replaced all lighting in our covered car park to LED technology.
In 2021 we installed LED lighting in our escalators and we have plans for more installations in our Food Court and back of house areas.
Furthermore, since 2018 the lights in our Christmas decorations are all LED.
The use of more efficient LED lights demands less energy and reduces our carbon dioxide emissions.
100% Green Electricity
Since 2017 our energy team only procure 100% renewable electricity from our preferred energy providers. While a large proportion of our energy is sourced from our own PV panels, the balance is provided by Energia, who is our current provider. Energia’s carbon mix is a combination of wind, solar, bio and hydro energy. This means that our electricity is 100% green energy.
Direct Bus Routes
Since 2017, Bus Eireann have used Mahon Point as a bus stop for a number of routes meaning that you can now get “Straight to the Point” by bus. So no need to bring your car, making it helpful to the environment and reducing our carbon emissions.
The bus routes travelling to the centre has grown over the years and we now have the following routes travelling direct to Mahon Point: 202, 202A, 212, 215, 215A, 219. Bus route 212 is a new addition for 2021!
We have over 100 buses setting down daily at Mahon Point. Not only does this make the centre very accessible but it is also a more environmentally attractive prospect for visitors to the centre. And of course, we have plenty of bike parking too for those who wish to cycle to the centre.
Ground Water Well
In 2013 we dug our own ground water well and it started pumping in mid-2013.
This allows us to independently supply our own water for nonpotable (non drinking) requirements in the public areas of the mall, putting less strain on the public infrastructure and public water supply.
(Retail outlets still require the public supply e.g. our restaurants and coffee shops).
This project did require a substantial financial investment at the time but the long-term benefits are considerable including a reduced demand from public supply and savings in water charges.
And as a renewable source, it contributes to our sustainability strategy.
Sustainable Farmers’ Market
Mahon Point Farmers’ Market is the largest Farmers Market Cork has to offer, bringing together a diverse range of local farmers and artisan food producers in one large weekly market held outside the main entrance of Mahon Point Shopping Centre every Thursday morning from 10am to 2pm.
Established in 2006, Mahon Point Farmers’ Market has over 50 stalls of high-quality foods available, much of it organic, lovingly grown, produced or sourced by small producers across the county. The market has won an array of prestigious awards including the Good Food Ireland “Best Farmers Market Award” and the McKennas Guide “Best in Ireland” Award.
Operated by Rupert Hugh Jones, the aim of our Farmers Market is to be 100 % plastic free and fully sustainable and they are very close to achieving this goal.
As a result of considerable efforts and careful planning, all traders on are on board to make this work. They have developed CUSP (Cork Urban Soil Project) which is a social experiment to harness food and compostable packaging waste and utilising an anaerobic bio digester to create soil. More updates are to follow soon on the progress of their sustainability efforts.
In 2015 Mahon Point Shopping Centre became the first building in Ireland to be accredited BREEAM in use certification. BREEAM is the world`s longest established and most widely used method of assessing, rating and certifying the sustainability of buildings. Worldwide, 561,300 buildings are now certified with BREEAM assessment ratings, and over 2 million registered for assessment since it was first launched in 1990.
Since 2015 Mahon Point Shopping Centre has annually been awarded a “very good” rating for asset performance and an “excellent” rating for building management.
A BREEAM assessment uses recognised measures of performance, which are set against established benchmarks, to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction and use. The measures used represent a broad range of categories and criteria from energy to ecology. They include aspects related to energy and water use, the internal environment (health and well-being), pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes.
Mahon Point Shopping Centre received exceptionally high ratings in the areas of Waste (100%), Energy (80%), Water (85%), Materials (69%) and Land Use & Ecology (100%). These scores are reflective of a number of effective improvements that we implement on an ongoing basis around our 30-acre site. These include the introduction of a new bespoke Building Management System (that optimises and reduces waste on utilities such as water, gas and electricity), and efficient segregation and recycling of all site waste (including food waste composting). Other approaches include the use of a ground water well supply and lighting management through an efficient internal and external lighting system.
Mahon Point will continue to evaluate other methods of enhancing the sustainability of the shopping centre for the future, which will further enhance our BREEAM rating.
Mahon Point is a zero waste to landfill site with 100 % of our refuse being recycled or recovered. Since we opened in 2005, where possible, we have segregated cardboard, plastic, metal, glass, timber and compost (food waste). We have partnered with Panda Group to help assist with our waste management solutions and on average we recycle 900 tonnes of waste per year.
In 2007 we introduced a specialised Food Composter which handles all the waste from our restaurants and produces up to 5 tonnes of compost per year.
All other contaminated waste (general waste) is processed by Panda and exported to be used as RDF (refuse derived fuel). This is used to generate electricity as opposed to burning fossil fuels.
Panda’s recent investment in technology has led to a partnership with Energia which converts organic waste area into electricity at its newly commissioned Huntstown Bioenergy Plant, which will be one of the largest anaerobic digestion plants in Ireland.
And as a customer of Energia, it means our converted waste comes full circle as energy back to us!
Why drive when you can cycle! At Mahon Point Shopping centre we have offered ample bike parking since we opened in 2005. Spaces are available in our covered car park and at the Omniplex entrance.
In 202o we were delighted to welcome GoBike to the centre. Located in the covered car park, this local start-up company repair all kinds of bikes, from Kids Bikes to the Racing Machines.
Cycling offers a healthy and enviromentally friendly travel option. And with our close proximity to the Mahon/Blackrock cycle route, cycling is an attractive pastime in our local area. It only takes 20 minutes to cycle from the city centre to Mahon, most of which is on the picturesque Old Blackrock Railway line Greenway.
Cycling is fun, it saves you money, keeps you fit, is good for the environment and is often the fastest way to get around. It is an effective action you can take to reduce your carbon emissions.
We are happy to welcome cyclists to Mahon Point Shopping Centre and have plans to develop our cyclist services in the future.