Message from the CEO
I am proud to introduce the 10th edition of our responsible investment report. Redevco was one of the first (retail) real estate companies to publish its achievements in corporate responsibility annually, demonstrating our strong commitment to a subject that has grown significantly in importance over the last decade. While our business has evolved fundamentally during this period, the “Business in Balance” principle behind Redevco’s approach to corporate responsibility has remained constant.
Business in Balance means we carefully consider the impact of our activities on the environment as well as on the community. We are committed to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations and continue to future-proof the properties that we manage. We use the BREEAM* methodology to measure our progress and ensure a holistic approach towards sustainability. Furthermore, we made a positive impact in the communities where we are active through our annual volunteering day and the projects supported by the Redevco Foundation. In 2017, our employees selected and supported 87 different charitable projects across Europe.
2017 was one of the best years in terms of trading. We acquired and divested assets for a transaction volume of €1.04 billion. We hit a milestone at Redevco Iberian Ventures, our joint venture with Ares Management, with our first exit from an investment – the €193 million sale of nine retail parks in Spain and Portugal.
As Redevco has evolved into an investment management company, overseeing multiple vehicles for a number of different investor clients, the way we work has also changed. This has affected our structure, our processes and how we support them. Last year was about bringing to life all aspects of the new Redevco business model. We started a couple of sizable redevelopments. One great example is The Leaf, a retail park in Ternat (Belgium) for which we are targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. This requires effort in areas like ecology, energy, management and transport, translating into higher insulation standards, recycling of demolition materials, using energy efficient installations, the provision of safe cycling infrastructure, green roofs and outdoor terraces for shop employees. Furthermore, where possible we will select building materials according to the Cradle to Cradle™ principle.
We will continue to future-proof our assets under management (AuM). We have agreed with our shareholder a target of allocating at least 50% of investment value in our overall portfolio to BREEAM certified properties with a ‘Very Good’ or better rating by 2022. At the end of 2017, 88% of all our AuM were BREEAM certified, and we have continued to work on improving the quality of our properties using BREEAM as an asset management tool. This resulted in 42 properties gaining a higher BREEAM rating certificate compared with 34 in 2016. We are not stopping there and we aim to improve another 29 assets in 2018.
CO2 emissions per employee fell to 3,662 kg of CO2, a decrease of 2% compared to 2016. This brought us slightly closer to our 2020 target of 2,700 kg of CO2 per employee, which represents a 50% reduction from the baseline established in 2009. This past year’s result shows that we must still make a concerted effort in the coming few years to reduce our carbon footprint from office operations.
We consulted stakeholders through the bi-annual materiality survey, which allowed us to create a priority list for action. The top four topics are business integrity, employee engagement and enablement, future-proofing the portfolio and energy use.
I am convinced that we can exceed the ambitious targets that we set ourselves. We have a new sustainability team in place. Its mandate is to challenge our organisation to reach for higher goals and to help us realise them, so that Redevco contributes to the Paris agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals.
At the same time, I am pleased with the achievements that our organisation has made to date. Our persistance has paid off and we are on the right track. We are grateful for the engagement of our employees and external stakeholders, without whom little could have been achieved. My wish is that this collaboration continues so that we can make our world a place to enjoy for generations to come.
Chief Executive Officer