Focus on material topics
The Residential Fund’s sustainability strategy is focused on reducing the environmental impact of its properties while enhancing comfort, all in cooperation with our tenants and other stakeholders. For example, our standard programme of requirements for acquisitions and renovations focuses on structural quality, energy-efficient installations, water-saving fittings and maintenance-friendly and recycled materials. We have limited control in terms of influencing and measuring energy, water and waste reductions at tenant level, so we focus on data collection of sustainability indicators in areas that we can control.
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 apartment buildings, which translates to greenhouse gas emissions.
The Fund has set clear targets for the reduction of its environmental impact in the period 2017-2018:
Energy: average annual reduction 2%
GHG emissions: average annual reduction 2%
Water: average annual reduction 2%
Renewable energy: increase percentage of renewable energy
By selecting and focusing on the top 50 largest energy consuming assets and connections and installing LED lighting and relocating sensors, the Fund is on track to meet this target. In 2017, the Fund managed to cut electricity consumption by 0.5% (2016: 6.9%) and total energy consumption by 1.7% (2016: 4.0%), both on a like-for-like basis. The Fund purchases renewable electricity for common areas, while property managers are required to deliver sustainable alternatives for repairs and replacements based on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) principle. The Fund’s standard programme of requirements includes water-saving fittings, while we are also investigating the potential use of water buffering and partly recycled (non-drinking) water, for instance for the maintenance of green areas. This puts the Fund among the most sustainable residential funds in the Netherlands.
The Fund's ambition to increase the coverage and transparency of its environmental impact according to INREV sustainability guidelines is reflected in the summary of key ESG data. For more detailed information on the key performance indicators, please see the Responsible investing performance indicators at the end of this annual report.
In 2017, Bouwinvest initiated a collaboration with Nuuka, a building process analytics software company. The Nuuka tool makes buildings smart, leading to improved efficiency, security, and environmental performance. We started a pilot project with Nuuka in WTC The Hague and Nieuwe Vaart (Utrecht), both projects in the Bouwinvest Dutch Office Fund. The Nuuka system will help us to improve our insight into the environmental footprint of the assets in our portfolio. If this pilot is successful and also suitable for residential investments, this system will be applied across the entire residential portfolio to improve our sustainable asset management.
In line with the Fund’s strategy, we always keep a very close eye on innovative trends and developments, especially those that might help us achieve the Fund’s main (sustainability) goals. In 2017, we therefore selected several services and projects in which we see added value for our tenants and other stakeholders. We are running pilots for each of these services within our portfolio.
ParkBee has developed smart technology that opens up private car parks to the public, thus making them part of the sharing economy. The service enables us to offer parking at a special rate for tenant’s visitors and others, as well as to generate extra income by optimising the occupancy rate of our parking facilities. Customers enter our garages by using the leading smartphone apps Parkmobile and Parkline, which also do the billing for the service. Income is shared on a monthly basis between Parkbee and Bouwinvest. Parkbee contributes to a more sustainable urban environment by reducing the number of drivers (and cars) searching for parking spaces and through the more efficient use of the built environment.
Urbee aims for a more sustainable city with lower CO2 emissions by building an e-bike-sharing network. Especially in urban areas, 80% of car rides are shorter than 20 km. This makes the Urbee service the perfect alternative to a car or other forms of motorised transport. Via Urbee, we can offer our tenants a sustainable means of transport at a reasonable price.
Hello Energy creates new ways to help believers and sceptics support a worldwide sustainable energy transition. It offers a narrow-casting solution, which we use as a tool to engage tenants in our sustainability goals. The interface shows the energy use of the building, the production of renewable energy by solar panels, news, public transport information and weather forecasts, but can also be used by our property managers to inform tenants of upcoming events.