Howard Group appoints Hilson Moran as Sustainability Consultant for its flagship development Unity Campus

As part of its aspiration to achieve a net zero carbon property portfolio by 2035, Howard Group, the Cambridge-based property investor and developer, has announced the appointment of Hilson Moran as Sustainability Consultant for the Group’s flagship development Unity Campus. Hilson Moran has been commissioned to develop a sustainability strategy and implementation plan for the Campus including measures for waste, water and energy reduction.

Since acquiring the 11-acre site, which had been home to a thriving tannery for over 100 years, Howard Group has successfully completed a number of environmental initiatives. These include a major programme of land remediation and the repurposing of the tannery’s former hide market into a stunning modern workplace comprising both wet laboratories and offices. By retaining the original concrete floors and steel frames, Howard Group saved approximately 1,900 tonnes of embodied carbon emissions whilst achieving a contemporary industrial feel to the workspace.

To reduce pollution and congestion, initiatives are being explored to facilitate the use of car sharing and public transport. Increasing the provision of electric vehicle charging is also a priority, as well as the introduction of renewable energy generation onsite. An orchard was planted last summer as part of the late Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.


The site, which is currently home to 12 leading life science and technology companies including Domainex, IONTAS, Liminal Biosciences, Phoremost and Summit Therapeutics, is undergoing a major expansion. Three new laboratory buildings totalling 90,000 sq ft are currently under construction and due for completion by the end of 2023. In addition, outline planning consent has been achieved for a further 60,000 sq ft of laboratory and office space, expected by the end of 2025. All buildings will be BREEAM rated, targeting ‘Excellent’ with carbon-conscious design being integrated at all stages of the development process.

Howard Group’s CEO Nicholas Bewes said: “Sustainability underpins every aspect of the design, development and operation of Unity Campus. We are now at a stage in our journey to net zero carbon where we need a cohesive site-wide strategy. We were impressed with Hilson Moran’s sector knowledge and expertise, together with their innovative thinking which spans both practical “quick wins” as well as long term measures.”

Francesca Prestinoni, Senior Sustainability Consultant, Hilson Moran added: “We are pleased to support Howard Group in the delivery of a sustainability strategy and implementation plan for Unity Campus, by assessing the existing built assets and considering upcoming elements to the scheme. The strategy aims to identify new opportunities, leveraged by innovation, that can help optimise resource use, minimise waste, pollution and emissions, and maximise the overall sustainability credentials whilst fostering social wellbeing. Unity Campus is set to become a leading example for sustainability, as the Campus has a strong potential to contribute to a local economy, deliver social value, safeguard environmental resources and pursue the net zero carbon agenda.”

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