BNP Paribas Real Estate

BNP Paribas Real Estate has local expertise on a global scale through its presence in 40 countries with more than 180 offices and 3,300 employees...

BNP Paribas Real Estate

BNP Paribas Real Estate UK is part of the BNP Paribas Group, a global name in banking and financial services.  BNP Paribas Real Estate UK comprises six business lines covering the entire property lifecycle: Property Development, Transaction, Consulting, Valuation, Property Management and Investment Management.

Its comprehensive services cover all property products, such as offices, warehouses, logistics, business parks, retail outlets, hotels, land, new and existing housing, fully-serviced accommodation, etc.  

BNP Paribas Real Estate has local expertise on a global scale through its presence in 40 countries with more than 180 offices and 3,300 employees (18 wholly owned and 22 by its Alliance network that represents today more than 3,000 people). 

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"β€œIt is increasingly important for us to be able to deliver demonstrable results to support our environmental commitments. This plays an important part in differentiating us from others in our sector and in competitive markets. It also helps us control our costs and provide value for our clients. ”" Nick Hillard, Sustainability Manager BNP Paribas Real Estate

The Challenge

Bywaters started working with BNP Paribas Real Estate UK over six years ago when the majority of the buildings under management in and around London had no comprehensive recycling in place.  Initially work was carried out on a site-by-site basis.  However, it was soon recognised that individual contracts for each site were probably not delivering value and made it hard to manage and realise improvement. 

In 2010, BNP Paribas Real Estate UK took the decision to review its facilities contracts across all 33 sites in London.  The result was a tender process to identify a contractor capable of meeting the needs of all its London property.  Companies tendering for the contract were assessed on a range of criteria, including cost/value, recycling solution, recycling facilities, account management, innovations and continuous improvement. 

The contract was won by Bywaters, who were not only extremely competitive on price but also presented a practical, easy to implement and proven recycling solution across all sites which, once implemented, would meet the customer’s ambition of zero waste direct to landfill.  

The Solution

BNP Paribas Real Estate UK produce a copious amount of material a year across its 33 managed sites in London.  

These sites vary tremendously from the smallest site at 50,000 sq ft to the famous 465,000 sq ft, Tower 42, in the City of London.  

The challenge for Bywaters was to develop a recycling system that would work across all sites, providing the flexibility and scalability required for the customer’s diverse range of tenants.  A consistent solution was also important as it would allow BNP Paribas Real Estate UK to measure, monitor and compare its recycling and diversion performance across its property portfolio.  This consistent solution, however, also needed to have the capability of implementing additional services for sites or tenants which were found to be producing particular waste types.

This was achieved by implementing our bycycler system - a two-bin system, across all properties. This colour-coded system provides one bin for dry recyclables, these included materials such as paper, plastic, card, cans. The second bin is for non-recyclables and contains food contaminated packaging, crisp and sweet wrappers and expandable polystyrene.

The dry recyclables are taken to Bywaters state of the art materials recovery facility in Bow, East London, where the materials are sorted by type and grade.  These materials are then sent to reprocessors where they are used in the manufacture of secondary materials.  The recycling and use of secondary materials plays an important role in controlling climate change and reduces the pressure on the Earth’s natural resources. 


The non-recyclables are taken to a local Energy from Waste Facility (EfW) where they are used to generate sustainable energy and heat.

In addition to the bycycler system, Bywaters also manages a range of other materials for BNP Paribas Real Estate UK - including food waste, confidential waste, hazardous waste, WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) materials and also construction waste, including paints and solvents. 

As a result, 100% of BNP Paribas Real Estate UK managed properties in London are now fully recycling and sending zero waste direct to landfill. 

Account Management and Added Value

It was recognised from the outset that simply implementing a recycling system was not enough. Account management and communication have been vital to the consistent improvement in recycling rates across the whole property portfolio.

Bywaters dedicated account manager produces monthly reports for each site and also hold a monthly review meeting to review performance and identify opportunities for improvement.  An important part of this process is the review of a standard set of KPI’s which were agreed by Bywaters and BNP Paribas Real Estate UK at the start of the contract.  The consistency of solution and reporting makes it easy to manage both individual sites and the whole portfolio.  The production and distribution of a site recycling league table also promotes healthy competition between the sites. 

The strong relationship between the client’s site managers and Bywaters account manager has been critical to enabling the significant increase in recycling rates and the attainment of zero waste to landfill across the entire London portfolio. It has also played an important role in securing BNP Paribas Real Estate UK’s ISO 14001 and 9001 certifications.

Conscious that any recycling system is only as good as the people using it, Bywaters invested a lot of time and effort working with the client to improve communication and awareness.  This has included working directly with tenants and other contractors as well as BNP Paribas Real Estate UK employees. Examples of this commitment include the production of multi-language literature and signage, as well as tenant meetings, cleaning company briefings, waste audits, environmental awareness days and hosting visits to Bywaters’ 125,000 tonne per annum materials recovery facility, to see the results of their recycling efforts first hand.   

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement forms an important part of the contract and working relationship between Bywaters and BNP Paribas Real Estate UK.  Bywaters continue to work with each and every site to identify, find markets and extract new materials from the general waste, to both increase recycling rates and move material up the waste hierarchy.  

Bywaters: “we are extremely proud of the improvement we have seen in the London property portfolio in the last two years.  Fundamental to this success has been the relationship between the client’s site management and our account managers:  the alignment of their objectives was instrumental in this. We look forward to continuing to work with BNP Paribas Real Estate to help them realise the environmental and financial benefits of increased recycling.”