A customized sustainability check list, devised by Faithful+Gould specifically for Nokia, signals the start of a new generation of greener retail outlets for the leading vendors.
Nokia's latest flagship retail store in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is the latest outlet to be constructed under the company's new sustainability standards.
The criteria, which highlight elements of the construction that can be altered to minimize environmental impacts, provide a benchmark for the company to monitor and audit its stores in terms of carbon emissions, waste management, material procurement, water usage, occupant comfort, health and safety, accessibility and transport.
Chris Nunn, sustainability and energy consultant for Faithful+Gould, is based in the company's London office and provided expert sustainability advice to Nokia. He explained, "Faithful+Gould has been partners with Nokia for a number of years. The sustainability evaluation of the company's flagship stores directly reflects many of Nokia's corporate, environmental and social responsibility priorities that it has applied to its core business."
A skylight green courtyard area was developed at the back of the store that creates an inviting lounge space for shoppers and increases the natural light within the space.
The area features living walls covered in a native species of Brazilian plants, which provide a tranquil escape from the busy streets outside, as well as absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing natural oxygen back into the store, improving indoor air quality.
"The Faithful+Gould sustainability team, based in London, was heavily involved in the design and construction process of the new stores," Nunn said. "We benchmarked the initial designs against best practice from the retail sector and created a prioritized checklist of sustainability issues for the Nokia design and construction team. Faithful+Gould also developed a Sustainable Building Guide for the project teams that they referred to during the design and construction process."
The design elements also incorporate a highly automated lighting control system featuring LED backlit panels, the use of certified sustainable timber and the re-use of local unwanted furniture, fixtures and equipment from the existing building. The list of sustainable attributes continues to include, an in-store handset recycling collection point, water efficient fittings, high efficiency boilers for water heating, rain water collection and use of the store as a learning resource for Nokia employees, customers and the wider community.
Nokia Retail Concept Director Jeremy Wright said, "Getting the sustainability strategy done at an early stage helped focus the design team and our supply chain on sustainability and we got some very good quick wins. Working across borders presents a huge number of challenges and we have learned that there is no ‘one size fits all' in terms of sustainability. The delivery of a global sustainability strategy requires meticulous attention to detail at both the strategic and operational level, together with top-down commitment and clear communication with all stakeholders."
Timing is key
Situated in the Boutique District of Jardins on Oscar Freire Avenue, which is viewed as the Rodeo Drive of Sao Paulo, the importing of materials from across the world was a key consideration to ensure that the project was finished on time and within budget.
Graeme Staunton, associate at Faithful+Gould, provided project management services for the construction of the store from the company's Chicago office. He explains that in order for the project to run smoothly, timing was everything.
"As project managers on the build, Faithful+Gould's remit included obtaining permits, coordinating over 25 suppliers from across the globe with local partners and managing budgets and schedules from conception to handover. However, as a global network, we were able to work closely with our colleagues in other countries to keep communication channels open and create a comprehensive management schedule that covered every eventuality. As a result the build was completed ahead of time, within budget and to a very high quality."
Faithful+Gould has been advising Nokia for over four years and has been involved in the project management of nine Nokia stores in Moscow, Chicago, Hong Kong, Helsinki, New York, Mexico City, Shanghai, London and Sao Paulo as part of the Nokia Flagship Store Programme.