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Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2015 WinnerGuardian Sustainable Business Awards 2015 Winner

Who we are

Low Carbon Workplace is a partnership between the Carbon Trust, fund manager Columbia Threadneedle Investments and property developer Stanhope. Through the Low Carbon Workplace Fund, the partnership acquires commercial office buildings and refurbishes them into modern, energy efficient workplaces. Occupiers benefit from ongoing support from the Carbon Trust, helping them to minimise their energy costs and carbon emissions. Energy and carbon performance is monitored and assessed against the Carbon Trust’s Low Carbon Workplace Standard, and occupiers that successfully meet the criteria are awarded with certification to the Standard.   

The Low Carbon Workplace concept was developed by the Carbon Trust in 2010 to break the ‘circle of inertia’ that has prevented many cost effective carbon reduction opportunities in non-domestic buildings from being realised. Low Carbon Workplace delivers refurbished low carbon buildings to occupiers who are both motivated and empowered to ensure potential energy and carbon savings are achieved. Occupiers reap the benefits of an efficient, comfortable and environmentally sensitive workplace, and investors and landlords profit from having attractive, ‘future-proofed’ buildings in their portfolios.

What we do

We acquire commercial office buildings and refurbish them into modern, energy efficient workplaces. We then provide ongoing support to occupiers, helping them to minimise their energy costs and carbon emissions. Click on the arrows below to find out more about what we do.

Acquire Refurbish Let


We acquire buildings with the potential to become modern, energy efficient workplaces. Specifically, this means they need to have the potential to:

  • Achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of B or better
  • Enable occupiers to achieve specific in-use performance requirements of the Low Carbon Workplace Standard, either in terms of emissions per person or emissions per square metre
  • Become a light, airy and pleasant working environment that will engender employee well-being and productivity


We minimise energy consumption and carbon emissions from Low Carbon Workplace buildings in three ways:

  • Passive measures: Low Carbon Workplace buildings use passive measures wherever possible to regulate temperatures and circulate air without consuming energy. We make the most of existing features such as thick walls and high ceilings. We also introduce new features such as high-performance insulation and glazing.
  • Active measures: We ensure that our buildings’ mechanical and electrical systems consume as little energy as possible. Where possible we use innovative solutions such as capillary cooling matting and chilled beams, which are highly efficient ways to regulate temperatures and circulate air.
  • Measuring and monitoring: We use energy sub-meters and occupancy sensors to monitor energy consumption and compare it with occupancy levels. This helps to identify opportunities to reduce unnecessary energy consumption and optimise performance.


All occupiers of Low Carbon Workplace buildings must sign the Low Carbon Workplace Charter. This signals their commitment to work collaboratively with the Carbon Trust to minimise their carbon emissions. Occupiers receive ongoing support from the Carbon Trust, including:

  • Fit-out advice to ensure their plans complement the building’s low carbon design
  • Move-in support to ensure the building has been properly commissioned and systems are operating as intended
  • Ongoing support including monthly reporting and staff briefings

Energy and carbon performance is monitored and assessed against the Carbon Trust’s Low Carbon Workplace Standard. Occupiers that successfully meet the criteria are awarded with certification to the Standard.

Our portfolio

To date the Low Carbon Workplace Fund has raised over £140m and the portfolio currently comprises eight buildings.

Premier House

Premier House

  • Twickenham
  • 41,000 sqft
  • Completed in Aug 2012
  • Upgraded from EPC E to B
Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant

  • Clerkenwell
  • 36,000 sqft
  • Acquired in Jun 2013
  • Currently under development
Grove House

Grove House

  • Hammersmith
  • 63,000 sqft
  • Completed in Jun 2013
  • Upgraded from EPC E to B
Summit House

Summit House

  • EC2
  • 57,000 sqft
  • Acquired in Mar 2014
  • Currently under development
Mansel Court

Mansel Court

  • Wimbledon
  • 22,000 sqft
  • Completed in Dec 2013
  • Upgraded from EPC C to B
Paul Street

Paul Street

  • Shoreditch
  • 29,000 sqft
  • Acquired in Jul 2014
  • Currently under development
Kew Road

Kew Road

  • Richmond
  • 33,000 sqft
  • Completed in August 2014
  • Upgraded from EPC F to B
Carter Lane

Carter Lane

  • EC4
  • 29,000 sqft
  • Acquired in Dec 2014
  • Currently under development


Low Carbon Workplace Standard

Low Carbon Workplace Standard

Low Carbon Workplace building occupiers’ energy and carbon performance is monitored and assessed against the Carbon Trust’s Low Carbon Workplace Standard. Occupiers that successfully meet the criteria are awarded with certification to the Standard. 

The Low Carbon Workplace Standard assesses three things:

  • Quantitative performance: Workplace carbon emissions are quantified per unit of floor area and per person. Occupiers must either meet best practice emissions benchmarks or demonstrate year-on-year improvements.
  • Qualitative criteria: Occupiers are assessed against a set of broad sustainability performance indicators, together with occupant satisfaction. This assessment provides a holistic picture of the workplace’s overall environmental performance.
  • Carbon management: Occupiers are required to have implemented a carbon management system that embeds energy efficiency and carbon management in the day-to-day activities of the workplace.



Sustainable Business Awards

Low Carbon Workplace wins Guardian Sustainable Business Award

News7 May 2015

The Carbon Trust has been presented with a Guardian Sustainable Business Award in recognition of its innovative and unique approach to reducing the carbon footprint of non-domestic buildings.

The Billings, Guildford

Why low carbon refurbishment is crucial for building sustainable cities

viewpoint31 March 2015

Low carbon refurbishment is an essential element in building a sustainable city, however the rate needs to be improved if real results are to be gained, says Bruno Gardner

The Billings, Guildford

Breaking the ‘circle of inertia’ on energy efficiency in the commercial buildings sector

viewpoint8 oct 2014

Buildings have a huge role to play in achieving the UK’s legally binding target to reduce its carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Viewpoint by Bruno Gardner, Managing Director, Low Carbon Workplace, on how we can drive forward energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

Green finance

First local authority pension funds invest in low carbon commercial real estate development partnership

news25 jul 2013

Low Carbon Workplace Partnership investment vehicle meets growing demand from UK pension funds to embed social, environmental and economic considerations of climate change in to their investment philosophy.

Investec low carbon workplace

'Circle of inertia' to energy efficiency broken in commercial building sector

press release7 may 2014

Investec Wealth and Investment Management (IWIN) first to be awarded new Low Carbon Workplace Standard

Low carbon workplace

Threadneedle Low-Carbon Workplace Trust leases Grove House in Hammersmith to Winton Capital Management

press release22 jun 2012

Grove House will be let on a new lease to Winton upon completion of its refurbishment to provide high quality office accommodation with a focus on reducing carbon, both embedded and in-use.

Threadneedle Low-Carbon Workplace Trust

First fully energy-managed low-carbon office launched

press release3 feb 2012

The tenants of a refurbished 160-year-old building will benefit from a huge drop in carbon emissions, thanks to the Low Carbon Workplace Trust.

Low Carbon Workplace

Low-Carbon Workplace Trust announces new investment

press release24 jan 2012

The energy efficient property group has received a financial boost as real-estate investment business The Townsend Group decides to invest.

Contact us

Carbon Trust


+44 (0)20 7170 7000


Columbia Threadneedle Investments


0800 953 0134




+44 (0)20 7170 1700