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For Our Future — How the Trafford Centre’s ESG strategy gives back to the local community

AuthorsHannah Fawcett

3 min read

Retail & Leisure

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Simon Layton, Centre Director, The Trafford Centre

ESG has a huge role to play in retail. As a certified B Corp, we know first-hand the benefits of businesses acting as a force for good.

As part of our focus on the retail sector and our ongoing commitment to a more sustainable future, Hannah Fawcett — our Legal Director and Head of Fashion & Beauty — went to The Trafford Centre to find out what ESG really means to one of the UK’s best retail and leisure destinations.

Here’s what The Trafford Centre’s Centre Director, Simon Layton, had to say.

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Why is ESG important to The Trafford Centre?

As a responsible business, ESG is really important as our operations are based on partnership, collaboration and trust. That’s why, over the past 18 months, we’ve been formulating our ESG strategy called For Our Future to help support the growth of our business and our future operations.

For Our Future encompasses three key pillars:

  1. Reducing our carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.
  2. Being a responsible role model to our brand partners and guests.
  3. Enhancing our operations to be a socially responsible business.

With 230 tenants in The Trafford Centre, our brand partners are key to the success of our ESG strategy. We work closely with them to ensure that their ESG priorities match those that we’re trying to deliver as a Centre, so that For Our Future is truly encompassed across the whole estate.


With that ambition to drive positive change, how are you investing in the local community?

Due to the diverse mix of brand partners that we have in The Trafford Centre — and, of course, the guests that visit to shop with us — we’re involved in a whole range of community projects which can help to support our ESG strategy.

Firstly, we’ve raised over one million pounds through our charity partnerships since being open in 1998. We also collect coins from our fountains which are donated by our guests — that alone equated to over £12,000 last year.


Do you do anything that your customers might not expect?

We have a number of customer-facing initiatives that our guests see every day when they visit The Trafford Centre — but on top of that, our biodiversity and commitment to the environment within which we operate is also really crucial.

Our guests may not be aware that we have four beehives on site with over 80,000 bees working away to make honey. In our woodland area, we also have a wide range of wildlife, from geese and hedgehogs to bat and bird boxes.

Our connection to the local environment is really key as a responsible business.


What are the biggest challenges to overcome for you to realise your ESG ambitions?

It’s important to have a plan on ESG around how you plan to support your local communities and the environment in which you operate. While this is an urgent task, it’s also important to take the time to understand where you can make the biggest impact and build that plan.

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