Sustainable procurement and business partner selection
To promote and increase sustainable procurement, we have launched a project with IVBN and a number of fellow fund managers to engage and assess the Fund’s suppliers using a sustainability web tool. Current and future suppliers will be assessed on their sustainable commitments, policies and behaviour.
Bouwinvest has Service Level Agreements with its property managers, who are assessed each quarter on topics related to administrative management, technical management (including sustainability), commercial management and tenant satisfaction.
For scheduled maintenance and smaller renovations, we have drawn up a sustainable procurement schedule, which enables the property managers to make more sustainable choices when procuring from construction firms or other suppliers.
We made these targets more measurable in the Fund Plan 2019-2021 by specifying the number of green leases and setting a target of at least 20% green leases in the portfolio by the end of 2021. We also realised the target related to the integrity of our business partners by recording zero incidents and sanctions as a result of non-compliance. One of the measures aimed at improving the tenant journey will result in a portal for all our tenants in 2021; this contains all the information relevant to tenants, including sustainability performance, query tracking and other services.
Collaboration with PropTech start-ups and scale-ups
New technologies, such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain can improve the quality, productivity and efficiency of our operations. We devote a great deal of attention to new property technologies and start-ups and scale-ups that are developing solutions. At Bouwinvest, we foster a culture of innovation, to stay ahead of the ever-changing demands of our investors and tenants and to safeguard the value of our investments by helping to create future-proof cities. We are working on innovative solutions in various stages of development.
In addition, our Research department has developed a data integration solution to provide automatic data gathering and an advanced analytics platform. The solution includes a data warehouse, which is essentially a large collection of centrally managed data from both internal and external sources. The solution supports decision making at operational, tactical and strategic levels and will be expanded over the coming years to unlock more value. In addition to the data integration solution we launched in 2019, we are looking for a partner who can help us develop a data-gathering and analysis tool to measure the environmental impact of our portfolio in detail. This solution will help us to make our portfolio ‘Paris Proof’ in the long term.
Our ambition is to be part of the early majority by enhancing our involvement in technological development. We focus on three central innovation themes: Sustainability & circularity, Experience and How we work. Up until now, our focus has been on the launch of new products and the continued development of these products. Some have been scaled up and rolled out on a wider scale, while others have been shut down when it turned out they generated too little added value.
We currently have a portfolio of several PropTech innovations. For example, in 2018 we unveiled plans to set up a tenant portal. This will provide tenants with a digital channel for repair requests, complaints and all the information they need about their lease contracts, service charges and payments. The aim of this project is to increase the satisfaction of our tenants and to reduce the chance of lease terminations. We started pilots for this portal in 2019 and we are aiming to go live in 2020.
We are also testing another application, Chainels, to support community building with and between our tenants. Chainels offers a wide range of functionalities to share information and to encourage interaction between tenants. Following a pilot in WTC Rotterdam, we plan to implement this application in WTC The Hague in 2020. We are also running pilots in the field of mobility and data-collection and analysis. Together with Huub (a Pon start-up), we are offering tenants the use of electric bikes and cars at Nieuwe Vaart (Utrecht) and the Olympic Stadium Amsterdam. Data collection is up for discussion on many fronts. Firstly, we made a selection of the data we are aiming to collect in the future. Now we are specifying the technical infrastructure we will need to collect these data. In 2020, we will draw up the requirements for tools, such as sensors, so we can select one supplier to start a pilot with, also involving an external property manager and a single tenant. In principle, the collection of data should enable us to gain greater insight, so we can improve our property or asset management activities to raise the performance of our assets (i.e. lower operating costs and/ or more comfort for tenants). The collection of data related to the use of office space would be a relatively small next step, but will require special attention for the privacy of users and the development of new service-oriented business models.