In pursuing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a company makes conscious choices to find the right balance between the economic, social and environmental aspects of all internal and external business activities.
Real estate and infrastructure should be used for the comfort and convenience of the users and should contribute to the quality of our society, now and in the future. The guiding principle for investing and managing real estate and infrastructure sustainably is to find the right balance between economic, social and environmental aspects.
Bouwfonds IM is convinced that sustainability represents added value for investing and managing real estate and infrastructure assets. This means that we continuously look for sustainable methods in our business operations. In our funds, we acknowledge the fact that investments in improving sustainable performance have to be approved by our investors in the funds. By actively promoting sustainable methods towards our investors, Bouwfonds REIM wants to lead the way in the real estate and infrastructure sector and treat the environment and natural resources responsibly.
Bouwfonds IM focuses on the following important topics:
Recent studies show that construction and building use accounts for 40% of CO2 emissions. Through our asset management activities we are committed to contribute to a reduction in the energy intensity of the real estate we manage. In order to achieve a reduction in energy consumption, energy consumption data are needed which give insight into how possible reductions can be realised. The required data is not always easy ac¬cessible, especially where tenants have contracts directly with the utility companies. Bouwfonds IM has started to gather data on energy consumption and aims to increase its coverage every year. Our funds use the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark as a framework.
Compared to agriculture, which accounts for 70% of all water use, the developed environment is responsible for conside¬rably lower water consumption. But water waste in the sector is huge. Just as for energy consumption, we are committed to contribute to a reduction in the water intensity of the real estate we manage.
Energy Performance Certificates
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are required for all properties in the EU under the European Union’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Bouwfonds IM is committed to become compliant with this direc¬tive taking into account possible constraints pursuant to the mandate Bouwfonds IM has from the investors in our funds. We are actively working to ensure that EPCs are available for all properties.
A green lease is a lease between the landlord and the tenant that incorporates voluntary and/or legally binding commitments for both parties to minimise the environmental impact in terms of energy, water and waste. Although the use of green leases is still limited, Bouwfonds IM focuses on increasing the percentage of green leases, as it is considered to be an effective instrument to improve sustainable performance.
Bouwfonds IM recognises the need and added value for properties of In-Use certificates with respect to sustai¬nability performance. We are aware that obtaining In-Use certificates comes at a cost. In consultation with the in¬vestors in our funds we seek out opportunities where our investors directly or indirectly benefit from the implementation of sustainable measures and the obtaining of an In-Use certificate.
As an internationally-oriented real estate and infrastructure investment manager, working with local partners is part of our day-to-day business. Bouwfonds IM aims to work with business partners who share our view on corporate social responsibility. We seek to increase the use of ‘green covenants’ in contracts with business partners to reinforce our commitment to corporate social responsibility.