Highlights performance on sustainability 2022
Investments with BREEAM-NL certification
BREEAM-NL rating ≥Very Good
BREEAM-NL rating Excellent
Green label (A/B/C)
99.6% (98.3% A-label)
99.7% (98.3% A-label)
Solar power installed
Increase in energy consumption (like-for-like)
Reduction in GHG emissions
Rental contracts with sustainability clause
Construction sites registered under Considerate Constructors scheme
Coverage AEDs within six minutes walking distance
Promoted ecological and social characteristics
Last year, the Fund developed the ESG Framework, which explicitly defines all elements related to ESG for the Fund. The driver for the development of the ESG Framework was to improve the structure of the Fund’s ESG efforts, enabling the Fund to integrate ESG in decision making and to structurally manage and monitor all efforts, enabling the fund to report in a transparent way. The framework also provides the basis for the disclosures required under the new Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. Part of the SFDR requirements is the periodic disclosure in which the Fund reports on its promoted environmental and/or social characteristics. The periodic disclosure can be found in the enclosures.
The Fund has defined four ESG objectives, which reflect the environmental and social characteristics that the Fund promotes. The ESG objectives are at the heart of the Fund’s strategy and support four United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The defined ESG objectives are Building a future-proof and sustainable portfolio, Reducing environmental impact, Liveable, affordable, attainable & inclusive places where people want to reside – now and in the future, and Contributing to healthy, safe and responsible operations.
In addition to the ESG objectives to which the fund wants to contribute, the ESG Framework takes into account ESG risks relevant to the Fund to minimise the negative impact of the Fund's portfolio on society and the environment.
1. Building a future-proof and sustainable portfolio
Above-average sustainable fund
In 2022, the Fund retained its GRESB 5-star rating but saw a decline in its overall score of three points to 92 points. The lower score is mainly due to a decrease in scores on GHG, water and waste. However, the Fund scores higher on like-for-like reductions in energy. The Fund continued to focus on performance to increase its points. The Fund will continue to focus on both coverage of data and on reductions to improve its score this year. Other opportunities for future improvements are related to the reuse of water.
GRESB scores 2022
In the latest UN PRI benchmark of 2021, we scored 95 points (5 stars) on Direct – Real estate. The results have been published during 2022.
Above-average sustainable buildings
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 climate quality. This makes it a very useful tool for the implementation of sustainability measures at different levels within the Fund.
The target for 2022 was to achieve a minimum of a BREEAM-NL Very Good rating for every asset in the portfolio. The Fund almost met its target last year, as 96.3% of the portfolio assets now have at least a BREEAM-NL Very Good rating; 66.2% have a BREEAM-NL Excellent rating. The Fund has retained its target for 2022 based on its ESG Steering framework. The asset De Zeven Provinciën (The Hague), delivered on 23 December, did not yet have a BREEAM-NL label on 31 December, but a Very Good BREEAM-NL In Use label is expected in Q1 2023.
The figure below shows all the certificates obtained per asset.
BREEAM scores (% of lettable floor space)
2. Reducing environmental impact
Bouwinvest committed itself to the Paris Proof commitment of the Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC). To become net-zero carbon (Paris Proof) before 2045, the Fund has drawn up a roadmap to realise this ambition. In 2022, the Fund incorporated the technologies, measures and costs in the Fund's strategic maintenance plan for the coming years.
Combatting Climate Change: source of energy
In 2022, the Fund's energy consumption increased by 1.9% (2021: -1.8%) on a like-for-like basis. The GHG emissions decreased by 22.6% (2021: -10.5%). This increase in like-for-like energy consumption was largely due to a post Covid-19 year, as a large majority of people worked from home in 2021. During 2022, most assets were operating on a normal level.
Renewable energy production
The Fund continued working on renewable energy production last year. The target was to install at least 1,000 kWp of solar panels by the end of 2022. At the end of 2022, the Fund had installed 1062 kWp of on-site solar panels. Due to the installation of new solar panels on Central Park the total kWp increased by 82 kWp.
On-site solar panels (kWp)
Combatting Climate Change: Energy efficiency of buildings
Another target related to the Fund's sustainability at asset level was to achieve a 100% green portfolio (EPC label A, B or C) in 2022 with 80% label A or better. The distribution of energy labels in the portfolio is shown below. At the end of 2022, 99.6% of the Fund’s portfolio had a green energy label, and 98.3% had an A label.
Distribution of energy label by floor space (m²) in %
Free of natural gas (% m2): 100% by 2045;
CO2 emissions in kg CO2 m2 of purchased energy (scope 2): Annually no scope 2 emissions (electricity);
Average energy intensity (kwh/m2/yr): ≤70 kwh/m2/yr in 2045.
3. Liveable, affordable, attainable & inclusive places where people want to reside - now and in the future
Bouwinvest does its utmost to optimise long-term alliances with all of its stakeholders. It has methods and means in place to understand, meet and respond to its stakeholders' needs and to engage with the issues that its stakeholders find important. In addition to this, Bouwinvest takes an active approach to raising environmental, social and governance awareness throughout the real estate industry, partly through membership of various real estate sector organisations, such as the Association of Institutional Property Investors in the Netherlands (IVBN) and the Dutch Green Building Council.
Client services and communications
Real estate markets are remarkably dynamic, so Bouwinvest has to be responsive to internal and external news, as well as
trends, risks and developments that could influence investments in real estate. Bouwinvest is clear on its investment strategies
and is dedicated to demonstrating its ability to meet or exceed its clients’ expectations, by offering investment opportunities,
services and market data related to existing and potential new investments.
Bouwinvest does its utmost to optimise long-term alliances with all its stakeholders. The organisation has methods and means in place to understand, meet and respond to its stakeholders' needs and to engage with the issues that its stakeholders find important. In addition to this, Bouwinvest takes an active approach to raising environmental, social and governance awareness throughout the real estate industry, partly through membership of various real estate sector organisations, such as the Association of Institutional Property Investors in the Netherlands (IVBN) and the Dutch Green Building Council.
For its most recent survey, Bouwinvest consulted a number of stakeholder groups. The survey consisted of two parts, a quantitative survey among employees and tenants and a qualitative survey among stakeholders such as clients, prospective clients, commercial tenants, developers and property managers. The qualitative survey used interviews to retrieve steering information on things that Bouwinvest does well and where there is room for improvement. Stakeholders also give an overall reputation rating.
The survey was conducted in 2022, and the results were processed in the first quarter of 2023. The average figures from the qualitative and quantitative survey cannot be combined, as they use different survey methodologies. The average score in the qualitative survey was a 7.8.
Product accountability: Tenant satisfaction
The results of the annual tenant satisfaction survey were announced in Q4 2022. The average score for satisfaction about the quality of assets (weighted by number of tenants) was 7.3; the service provided by the property manager scored a 6.9. With an average score of 7.1, the Fund met its target of 7.0. The scores based on the weighting of rental income are slightly higher, at 7.4 and 7.2 and an average of 7.3 respectively. Reminders via calls, narrowcasting and the community app helped to increase the response rate based on the number of tenants; 118 out of 187 (64% compared with 59% in 2021). Because several large tenants did not participate, the response based on rental income is lower than in 2021; 50% vs. 77%. A total of 27 tenants made use of the possibility to have colleagues complete the survey as well, resulting in a total of 46 responses from these tenants. The scores for indoor climate and safety increased particularly strongly. Accessibility scored slightly lower, but still more than sufficient. The Fund presented the results to its property managers. This is important input for new action plans for further improvements.
The Fund encourages its tenants to be more sustainable by including standard green lease clauses in its lease contracts. These embed the intended cooperation between the Fund and tenants to improve the sustainability of the Fund's office assets. The Fund prefers to supplement these clauses with concrete agreements, such as access to data on energy use and parameters on joint investments in energy-saving measures. Despite a certain level of reluctance on the part of tenants, in 2021 the Fund managed to increase the number of green leases it closed. The Fund is keeps working on increasing the number of green leases even further by offering tenants concrete tools to help them reduce their energy consumption and costs.
The Fund has so far signed 107 green lease agreements with tenants that include clauses related to cooperation on improving sustainability (total number of leases is 120). At 31 December 2022, 38.9% of all lease agreements were green leases (based on floor space; 2021: 31.6%).
Bouwinvest takes an active approach to raising environmental, social and governance awareness throughout the real estate industry. Bouwinvest encourages its partners to enhance their sustainability performance. Bouwinvest's focus is on health and safety at construction sites, active participation (memberships) in industry associations and community programmes. To further improve the climate for real estate investments, Bouwinvest is an active member of boards and committees of sector, industry and cross-disciplinary networks such as NEPROM, IVBN, Holland Metropole, DGBC, INREV and ULI.
Bouwinvest was the first company in the Dutch real estate investment sector to contribute to the establishment of a national AED (automatic external defibrillator) network, which it is estimated could save up to 2,500 lives every year in the Netherlands. The use of an AED offers the highest probability of survival within the first six minutes after a heart attack. In 2022, the Fund continued focusing on the installation of AEDs. The Fund's target for the end of 2022 was to give all tenants and communities access to an AED within six minutes walking distance. At the end of 2022, 100% of the Fund's tenants and communities had an AED available within six minutes walking distance.
BREEAM-in-use health assessment score at asset level: Target 2024: >70%
BREEAM-in-use health score at management level: Target 2024: >60%
Tenant satisfaction score: >7
4. Contributing to healthy, safe and good working conditions
Considerate constructors scheme (construction sites)
All the construction sites related to assets in the Fund are registered under the Dutch Considerate Constructors Scheme (Bewuste Bouwers). This ensures that the contractor deals with the concerns of local residents and addresses safety and environmental issues during the construction phase.
The target was to have more than 75% of its construction sites registered under the Considerate Constructors Scheme by the end of 2022. However, at the end of 2022 the Fund has no construction sites.
Construction sites with considerate constructors scheme (based on purchase price): >75% of total construction sites.
The Fund’s underlying investments significantly contribute to these objectives in line with the qualifications laid out in Articles 10 and 11 of the TR.
At the same time, the economic activities do not significantly harm any other environmental objectives.
Furthermore, the economic activities are carried out in compliance with the minimum safeguards laid down in Article 18 of the TR.
The economic activities have been assessed based on the technical screening criteria established by the European Commission. The calculation uses asset level data for the Green Asset Ratio (GAR). Turnover, OPEX and CAPEX are calculated on the basis on the corresponding (sustainable) assets. The reference date for the sustainability data is set at 1 January 2022 and financial data at year-end 2022. Assets sold during the year are not taken into account. Buildings under construction with a building permit after 31 December 2020 and new acquisitions have not yet been assessed in terms of Taxonomy alignment. The physical climate risk is, until net risk is available, assessed on the basis of gross risk (surrounding risk).
Taxonomy aligment of investments
4% of the Fund’s underlying investments are aligned with the technical screening criteria related to a substantial contribution to ‘climate change mitigation’ due to the number of A or better energy labels and the economic activities do not significantly harm any other environmental objectives due to the limited physical climate risks.
0% of the Fund’s underlying investments, which are not aligned with ‘climate change mitigation’, do contribute substantially to ‘climate change adaptation’ due to the limited physical climate risks and the fact that the economic activities do not significantly harm any other environmental objectives due to the number of B or C energy labels.
96% of the Fund’s underlying investments are not Taxonomy-aligned. A selection of the investments within this segment complies partially with the technical screening criteria and further assessment will be needed to determine Taxonomy alignment, as is the case for new buildings with a building permit later than 31 December 2020. On the basis of this new information, the Fund will establish whether part of these investments is in fact aligned with the EU Taxonomy.