Eco award for Rochdale Exchange after shopping centre slashes energy use

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A major project to cut energy use at Rochdale Exchange shopping centre, including a £180,000 investment in brighter and safer LED lighting, has won a top environmental award.

Shopping Centre bosses were presented with a prestigious Green Apple award after a raft of eco-friendly changes, also including the introduction of faster ticketless parking.

The shopping centre’s car park has been fitted with LED lights throughout, at a cost of £180,000, in a move to reduce the impact on the environment.

Motion sensors were also installed so lights are automatically turned off when certain parking areas are not being used, to cut the amount of energy being consumed.

Operations Manager at Rochdale Exchange Chris Doidge said one of the aims was to improve the appearance of the multi-storey car park as well as ensuring a safer environment for shoppers, by making the car park brighter.

The introduction of ticketless parking has also created a smoother experience for customers as it uses Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to speed up parking.

Chris said: “Since the introduction of the LED lighting, customers have given us a lot of positive feedback stating that they feel the car park is certainly much more appealing and is a safe environment for them to use throughout the year.

“The project involved the replacement of lighting on a like-for-like basis to put LED fittings in-place of the older and less efficient light fittings.

“This has certainly achieved a reduction in energy consumption, which we have reduced further by closing off the higher parking levels when they are not in use.”

“The initial outlay for this project was £180,000, which is well worth the investment as the replacement lighting had a pay-back period of 7 years based on current usage.”

“The ANPR system has helped reduce costs even further, as £7,000 a year was being spent on tickets for the previous system which is now being saved.

“The fact we are not using any paper tickets under-pins the centre’s ‘green’ culture on site to reduce the impact on the environment in any way possible.”

The international Green Apple Environment Award is granted to the greenest companies, councils and communities around the world.

Rochdale Exchange shopping centre competed against more than 500 other nominations in the Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice category.

Shopping Centre Manager Lorenzo O’Reilly said: “We are always looking to reduce the impact the shopping centre has on the environment.

“This project increased the appeal of the shopping centre to customers by making the car park more attractive and safer to use.

“We are delighted to have won this prestigious Green Apple award.”

The Green Apple Awards began in 1994 and have become established as the country’s major recognition for environmental endeavour among companies, councils, communities and countries.

The awards are organised by The Green Organisation, an independent, non-political, non-activist, non-profit environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world.

The Green Apple Awards are supported by the Environment Agency, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Chartered Institution for Wastes Management and other independent bodies.

Winning entries are published in The Green Book, a leading international work of reference on environmental best practice, so that others around the world can follow their example and learn from their achievement.

They could also progress to represent their country in the Green World Awards, and the European Business Awards for the Environment.

The shopping centre was presented with their trophy and certificate at a glittering presentation ceremony in the Houses of Parliament, London on November 16.

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