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Cambridge Innovation Parks Ltd prioritises sustainability with appointment of Prof John French




Cambridge Innovations Parks intends to become a “beacon of sustainability” after appointing an expert in carbon reduction to its board.

Professor John French has joined as director of sustainability at the company, which operates Cambridge Innovation Park North in Waterbeach and has plans for two further business parks.

Prof John French, third left, joins the Cambridge Innovation Parks Ltd directors, who include, from left, CFO Stephen Warburton, executive chairman Rick Parisi, and managing director Nick Hadley (15021118)
Prof John French, third left, joins the Cambridge Innovation Parks Ltd directors, who include, from left, CFO Stephen Warburton, executive chairman Rick Parisi, and managing director Nick Hadley (15021118)

Prof French is executive director, sustainable business hub and accelerator, at the University of Cambridge's influential Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), which is helping to develop solutions for a greener economy.

In Norwich, he pioneered the development of the UEA Enterprise Centre, said to be the UK’s greenest commercial building. It has won more than 30 awards, including recognition from the Royal Institute for British Architects for client side leadership.

The appointment comes as Cambridge Innovation Parks applies for planning permission to South Cambridgeshire District Council for three new buildings at its 10-acre Waterbeach site - two new offices offering 86,000 sq ft of commercial space, plus a day nursery, which will help workers find childcare close to their offices but which will also be open to the public.

The new nursery at Cambridge Innovation Park. Image: CPIL (15042624)
The new nursery at Cambridge Innovation Park. Image: CPIL (15042624)

As reported in the Cambridge Independent, the company also intends to seek planning permission this year for a biotech and medtech hub at Four Went Ways, near Granta Park and Babraham Institute, and for an R&D, robotics and cleantech campus off the A428 to the west of Cambridge. The sites cover 17 acres of land that the company has purchased.

Rick Parisi, executive chairman, said: “We have recently announced ambitious plans to expand our estate by a further 10 buildings over our three sites.

Phase III of Cambridge Innovation Park at Waterbeach. Image: CPIL (15021321)
Phase III of Cambridge Innovation Park at Waterbeach. Image: CPIL (15021321)

“This has presented us with a huge opportunity to focus on sustainability as a key differentiator, using John's huge commercial and academic experience in this field.”

Managing director Nick Hadley added: “John will help us to develop two huge opportunities: to create a physical environment where start-up and scale-up business in the cleantech and sustainability sectors can collaborate and innovate; equally, we can now attract socially-minded companies who believe they can minimize their environmental footprint by locating to a business park which is being designed from the ground up as Cambridge's beacon of sustainability.”

The proposed West Cambridge site from Cambridge Innovation Parks Ltd. Image: CPIL (15021347)
The proposed West Cambridge site from Cambridge Innovation Parks Ltd. Image: CPIL (15021347)

Prof French, a fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, who leads the accelerator programme at CISL, said: “With the UK moving rapidly towards a zero carbon target of 2050, I am looking forward to helping Cambridge Innovation Parks Ltd provide leadership and business opportunities and play its part in this transformation.

The Cambridge Cluster is globally competitive and the next tranche of infrastructure developments will signal a new way of doing business in a globally sustainable way.I am delighted to work with this great team.”

CIPL is a subsidiary of development firm Paragon Land & Estates.

A bird's eye view of the South East site of Cambridge Innovation Parks Ltd. Image: CPIL (15021340)
A bird's eye view of the South East site of Cambridge Innovation Parks Ltd. Image: CPIL (15021340)

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