Our sustainable real estate strategy is built on two pillars: certified sustainable assets and the reduction of environmental impact. Sustainable real estate helps to combat climate change and generates broader social, economic, environmental and health benefits. We are convinced that our approach reduces risk, increases client returns and makes our real estate assets and portfolios more attractive.
The Fund uses BREEAM to measure and assess the overall sustainability of its buildings. The BREEAM methodology covers a wide range of subjects; from energy to transport, from vegetation and materials to indoor quality. This makes it a very useful tool for the implementation of sustainability measures at various levels within the Fund.
In 2019, the main target for sustainability measures was to achieve BREEAM in-use labels for 100% of our shopping centres and to achieve 50% certified assets with BREEAM-NL in-Use GOOD or better by end 2021. The Fund made a great deal of progress last year and by year-end 2019 had achieved BREEAM labels for 88.7% of the assets in the portfolio and BREEAM GOOD ratings for 63.4% of the total portfolio. The Fund will also label the last acquisitions to achieve the target of 100% BREEAM certified shopping centre assets. The Fund managed to improve four BREEAM labels in the portfolio to GOOD from PASS (De Muntpassage in Weert, Hooftstraat 107-115 in Apeldoorn, the Stadionplein shopping centre in Amsterdam and the Mosveld shopping centre in Amsterdam). In addition, the Fund added the first BREEAM label VERY GOOD to the portfolio, for the Boterhoek 17 asset in Best (0.7% of the portfolio). The Fund improved the label of this asset from GOOD in 2018 thanks to various improvements in transport, safety and materials.
The number of assets that qualified for a green energy label had also increased to a total of 98.4% in 2019 (2018: 94.6%), due in part to the A label awarded to the new Centrumplan shopping centre in Rosmalen.
The figure below shows all certificates obtained per asset.
BREEAM scores shopping centres (% of standing lettable floor space)
Plans on sustainable buildings & Investments
100% BREEAM-NL certified shopping centres by end 2019 and 50% certitied BREEAM-NL in-Use GOOD or better by end 2021 at management level
87.9% certified shopping centres and 72.0% BREEAM-NL in-Use Good or better at management level
Acquisitions and major renovations/ redevelopments minimum BREEAM-NL In-use GOOD
Climate resilient buildings
The impact of climate change is becoming ever more visible. Physical risks are increasing, but so are the transition risks resulting from the additional measures governments are taking to put a brake on global climate change. This demands more attention for the effects of climate change.
The Fund has started to identify the climate risk exposure of its buildings, by combining climate data with other sources of building data to create a so-called climate stress test. This looks at the likes of hindrance or damage due to flooding, heat stress inside and outside buildings and subsidence due to drought and drops in ground water levels. The aim of this exercise is to ascertain whether current and future investments are climate proof, both in the short term and around 2050. And what measures the Fund needs to take to prevent damage to the buildings and to guarantee the safety and well-being of users. This is how we are working to create a climate-proof portfolio.
Reduction of environmental impact
Monitoring environmental performance data (energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste) is an important part of managing sustainability issues. The Fund tracks and aims to improve the environmental performance of its managed real estate assets: those properties for which the Fund is responsible for purchasing and managing energy consumption. The Fund reports on energy consumption (electricity, heating and gas: the energy components) for its shopping centres, which translates to greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2019, the Fund raised its targets for the reduction of its environmental impact in the period 2020-2022:
Renewable energy: increase percentage of renewable energy
Energy: average annual reduction to 5% in 2021 from 2% in 2019
GHG emissions: average annual reduction to 5% in 2021 from 2% in 2019
Water: average annual reduction 2%
Waste: Increase recycling percentage
In 2019, the Fund also started a project to purchase and implement an Environmental Monitoring System (EMS). An EMS is necessary to register and monitor energy, water and waste data in a single system using smart meters and to make effective and efficient management and decision making possible in order to make the sustainability ambition and ESG objectives a reality. Our target is to have an EMS up and running by the end of 2020. This will also make it easier to arrive at joint initiatives with tenants to reduce the energy use and environmental impact of our retail assets.
Renewable energy production
In 2019, the Fund installed 368 solar panels in the Molenhoek shopping centre in Rosmalen to reduce the energy consumption of the public area of this asset. These panels resulted in an increase of on-site solar power to approx. 242 kWp per year. The Fund is currently working on a new plan for solar panels on the Boterhoek asset in Best. The Fund also consulted retailer Jumbo to compare sustainability ambitions and potential new pilots. The Fund aims to add >1,000 kWp renewable solar panels on location by end 2021.
Energy consumption and GHG emissions
In 2019, the Fund managed to cut energy consumption by 7.3% (2018: 1.1%) on a like-for-like basis and GHG emissions reduced by 18.6%.
We take a strategic approach to water management, as this improves the efficiency, resilience and long-term value of our investments. The Fund is committed to reducing water consumption, reusing water and preventing water pollution and flooding.
The Fund aims to manage waste at its properties responsibly. We encourage our tenants to minimise and recycle waste. We provide recycling bins and encourage the reuse of plastics, metal and other materials. We are also studying the opportunities offered by circular economy developments.
At year–end 2019, 98.4% of the Fund’s retail assets had a green energy label (2018: 94.6%), indicating a high level of energy efficiency for the portfolio. The number of assets with a green energy label increased, due in part to the A label awarded to the Centrumplan shopping centre in Rosmalen and the A and B labels awarded to the retail units acquired in 2019, Heuvelstraat 24 and 36-38.
Distribution of energy labels in the portfolio
The Fund redefined these targets in the Fund Plan 2020-2022 in such a way that we are now aiming to receive energy label A for at least 95% of the portfolio (energy-index <1.2). The target for energy reduction is now 5% per year to put the target in line with (international) climate goals (reduction of 95% of CO2 in 2050 compared to 1990).
Plans on reduction of environmental impact
Add renewable energy on location installing 1000 kWh of solar panels before end of 2021
On track: year-end 2019 approx 242 kWp.
100% green portfolio (A, B, C energy labels) in 2018
On track: 98.4% green labeled
By end of 2021 95% of the portfolio has an energy label A or better (energy index <1.2)
86.0% A-labelled, average energy index 0.8
Annual reduction of environmental impact to increase from 2% in 2019 to 5% in 2021
Energy 7.3% decrease
GHG emissions 18.6% decrease
Water 0.4% increase
Waste 33.8% increase