Sustainable Retail on Regent Street with The Crown Estate


Network member The Crown Estate holds almost the entire freehold to London’s iconic Regent Street, where approximately 20,000 employees work within grade II listed buildings. Already pioneering sustainability, The Crown Estate has become the first to bring bees into the West End, and is currently setting up rooftop allotments.


Bees Regent St cropped


They’ve also produced a sustainable fit-out guidance document for their Regent Street retail tenants, which include some of the UK’s biggest brands. This guidance, and how it has been interpreted, is something other Network members were keen to learn more about.

Visiting Regent Street

A group including representatives from Royal Palaces, RSPB, Oxfam, the National Trust and the Field Studies Council headed over to Regent Street to find out how the fit-out guidance was developed and see it in action. The Crown Estate and their managing agents, Regent Street Management Direct (RSMD), welcomed us to the RSMD offices.


Regent Street the Crown Estate


Producing the Guidance 

Julie Hogarth, Director of Sustainability for RSMD, introduced us to The Crown Estate’s wider sustainability strategy, which is about embedding sustainability into all aspects of business. To achieve this, The Crown Estate realised the need to engage with their tenants and develop guidance from an end user perspective. Through this collaborative process several documents were produced, one of which is specifically for retail.


crown estate regent street

Putting guidance into action

The Crown Estate flag up their sustainable fit-out guidance when a new retailer moves in to Regent Street, or an existing retailer undertakes a refurbishment project. A member of Regent Street Management Direct’s community team visits and talk to staff about the guidance. One-to-one engagement enables the collaborative process and paves the way for a positive working relationship to develop.

It’s not a contractual obligation for the retailers to follow everything in the guidance, but there are some mandatory aspects. These include the use of energy efficient lighting where possible, water minimisation, waste management and sustainable timber procurement. Julie explained that in many cases, making retailers aware of simple things can have the biggest impact. Installing Hippos in the loos, for example, can mean a 30-40% reduction in water usage when each unit costs around £2.20.

Currently, twenty retailers on Regent Street have adopted recommendations contained within the guidance. The group toured three of the stores to see how it had been interpreted.


hunter store regent street


From recycled materials and energy efficient lightbulbs to timber procurement and water use minimisation, the guidance is being integrated in a range of different ways. The Crown Estate, working with RSMD, will continue to build upon relationships and encourage other retailers to make sustainable choices.

Network members can view the full guidance document in the members’ area. If you are a member but have not yet registered, you can do so here. Otherwise, find out how to join the Network.


Featured image: © Aidan Asgw