In 2004 Canary Wharf Group became one of the first developers to create a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). Through its implementation a suitable living environment for native and threatened species of plants and animals has been created and their establishment has taken place alongside the thriving commercial world of the Canary Wharf estate.
Today, the Estate has:
- 4 urban parks with a total of 24,000m2 of park and amenity spaces;
- 13 buildings with living roofs, comprising of a total of 8000m2 of green roof space with another 4,000m2 proposed in future development;
- Over 650 trees with a mix of 30 species;
- 348,000m2 of open water habitat;
- Jersey Cudweed (Gnaphalium luteoalbum), a protected plant species listed on schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 (as amended); and
- 5 bat species, diverse assemblage of fish and a number of priority bird species including black redstart and kingfisher.
In 2016 Canary Wharf Group, with assistance from Greengage, started the process of updating and preparing a new BAP for the Estate, a biodiversity roadmap for the next 10 years. This innovative strategy which addresses new ecological development standards and management actions for the Estate has recently been launched by Canary Wharf Group and can be found here.
The evidence-based BAP includes innovative ecosystem service valuation and climate change risk modelling to identify targeted conservation actions for Canary Wharf. Canary Wharf Group have also made a commitment to achieve measurable ‘net gains’ with a target increase in built form green infrastructure of 75% over the next 10 years as part of new development and retrofitted interventions. Calculator tools for quantifying gains are included which will be trialled whilst industry-wide standards are developed, with prescribed monitoring of KPIs to measure overall success against the three objectives:
Objective 1 – Embed the ‘net gains’ principle within management and planning decision making;
Objective 2 – Develop and apply actions for climate change resilience; and
Objective 3 – Improve ecosystem service value and in particular health, well-being and productivity of Estate users.
Greengage’s Head of Ecology and Green Infrastructure, Morgan Taylor, commented:
“This has been a fantastic project to work on and we very much look forward to seeing the aims come to fruition. From the outset, the team, led by Canary Wharf Group’s Sustainability Team, set about producing an innovative, forward thinking approach which has resulted in the new BAP being future ready. The approach the team took not only considered the importance of green infrastructure for biodiversity but also the role it plays in improving user’s health and wellbeing, reducing local urban heat island effects and improving the Estates air quality and climate change resilience.”
On Greengage’s involvement with the project, Canary Wharf Group’s Head of Sustainability, Martin Gettings, commented:
“We’ve appreciated everything around Greengage’s support on this project. Flexibility, technical responsiveness, ownership, team work communications, social media all noted and all were good.”
We are very excited and proud that this project has already been shortlisted for two awards, the CIEEM 2018 Innovation Award and the BusinessGreen Leaders Award for Green Infrastructure Project of the Year. We look forward to seeing the benefits that the BAP will have upon the Estate biodiversity, climate change resilience and the health and well-being and engagement of the Estate users.