BREEAM: measuring as a basis for improving

Redevco chooses to use the BREEAM In-Use methodology to measure and report on the environmental impact and performance of our Assets under Management.

The BREEAM In-Use performance rating of an asset is a key indicator of a building’s environmental impact. We therefore make the explicit assumption that a higher BREEAM rating equates to a more sustainable and future-proof asset with a lower negative environmental impact. Certification of our assets under management is not the goal in itself, but it establishes a baseline for setting targets and tracking improvements. We use our City and Asset Attractiveness tools to determine where to invest and in which property. Furthermore, we make conscious decisions to improve the BREEAM ratings of our individual assets, with the aim to reduce negative environmental impacts as much as possible and contributing to our strategy of improving those cities where we are active, all within the financial parameters set by our investor clients.

Figure 3.1. Rolling improvements process

We have been working on certifying our assets under management since 2009 and have achieved this for 88% of our portfolio to date. As mentioned, future-proofing the portfolio entails a programme of continuously improving all assets. To come to a cost-effective and efficient way of maintaining certification for our assets under management, we have been working since October 2016 with BRE, local BREEAM scheme operators and BREEAM Assessor organisations on a pilot portfolio certification methodology. In 2017, 344 certificates were issued using this new methodology.

Going forward, we will move to an annual, rolling process of certification that will allow us to track year-on-year improvements for our assets. Every year, a random sample of the portfolio is selected for a BREEAM compliance audit. By applying the portfolio methodology to our assets under management, we have consistent reporting to track our progress over the years. The adoption of this methodology marks an important step towards using BREEAM In-Use as a portfolio management tool, helping us to maintain our holistic approach to sustainability and guide us in making environmental improvements to our assets (figure 3.1).

Our tenants play a key role when it comes to improving the BREEAM In-Use performance of all assets under management because they are responsible for measures that form an important part of BREEAM’s scoring. To achieve our BREEAM certification ambitions, we seek to collaborate with our tenants on three main themes:

1. Emissions: metering and managing energy consumption to reduce emissions relating to the operations of the building.
2. Health and Well-being: providing a safe and healthy work environment and shopping experience.
3. Resources: reducing resource use (water and materials) and waste generation.

Through tenant engagement and the implementation of green leases, the overall environmental impact of our assets is minimised. Under our green lease, our tenants exchange data that allow us to monitor the overall energy, carbon and water usage of a significant portion of our assets under management. We encourage tenants to be proactive in seeking our recommendations on improving their space, which in turn assists in future-proofing the assets. In 2017 the percentage of green leases dropped to 62%. This led us to the decision to aim to implement a portfolio-wide uniform green lease clause covering these topics in 2018.