Highlights performance on sustainability 2022
Investments with GPR building certificate
Average GPR score
Green label (A/B/C)
100% (79.3% A-label)
100% (62.1% A-label)
Average Net-Zero Energy Building (NZEB2) score
Solar power installed
Reduction in energy consumption (like-for-like)
Rental contracts with sustainability clause
Construction sites registered under Considerate Constructors scheme
Homes acquired in mid-rental segment
Promoted ecological and social characteristics
Last year, the Fund developed the new ESG Framework, which explicitly defines all elements related to ESG for the Fund. The ESG Framework enables the Fund to integrate ESG in decision-making, to structurally manage and monitor all ESG-related efforts and to report in a transparent manner. The framework also provides the basis for the disclosures required under the new Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). 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.
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;
Contributing to healthy, safe and responsible operations.
In addition to the ESG objectives, the ESG Framework also covers the ESG risks the Fund needs to take into account to minimise the negative impact of the Fund’s portfolio on society and the environment. Please see the Risk Management section for further details.
1. Building a future-proof and sustainable portfolio
Above-average sustainable fund
For 2022, the Fund aimed to continue to improve its sustainability performance, improve its GRESB score and retain its 5-star rating. The Fund succeeded in these efforts. It increased its score by one point (to 91 from 90 in 2021) and retained its GRESB 5-star rating, which puts the Fund among the top 20% worldwide. The 2022 outcome placed the Fund second (out of 11) in a peer comparison, a significant improvement on the previous year (6th out of 10).
The higher GRESB score was primarily the result of improvements in performance indicators. To retain its GRESB 5-star rating, the Fund will continue to increase its focus on performance indicators and maintain its focus on Policy & Disclosure, Stakeholder Engagement, Monitoring & EMS.
GRESB scores 2022
In the latest UN PRI benchmark of 2021, the Fund scored 95 points (5 stars) on Direct – Real estate. The results have been published during 2022.
Above-average sustainable buildings
Sustainable building certificates show how the Fund performs in terms of sustainability at asset level and what additional efforts it needs to make. The Fund uses internationally accepted sustainability certificates to measure and assess the overall sustainability of its assets. Benchmarks help the Fund to make informed business decisions to mitigate environmental, social and governance risks and enhance its long-term returns. Certificates such as GPR Building measure criteria that go beyond legislative requirements and provide the Fund with instruments to encourage more responsible tenant behaviour, such as cutting waste and reducing energy consumption.
The Fund uses GPR Building software to measure and assess the overall sustainability of its buildings. The GPR reports on five performance indicators: Energy, Environment, Health, Quality of Use and Future value, and assigns a score for each
performance indicator on a scale of 1 to 10. When used on existing buildings, GPR makes it very easy to identify potential quality improvements following sustainability-related measures. This in turn makes it very easy to compare various scenarios and the outcome of any measures, which enables the Fund to choose the most (cost) effective measures, both in terms of sustainability and the long-term return on investment.
The Fund aimed to achieve an average GPR score of at least 6.4 (with a coverage of 100%) by the end of 2022. By year-end 2022, 99.3% of the portfolio had received a GPR label, with an average score of 6.53 (2021: 6.48). The coverage of sustainable certificates is not 100% due to new construction deliveries yet to be processed.
For the coming years, the Fund will focus on improvements to get a higher average GPR label scores. The Fund’s target is to achieve an average GPR score higher than 6.65 by year-end 2025.
GPR scores (% of lettable floor space)
2. Reducing environmental impact
Bouwinvest committed itself to the Paris Proof commitment of the DGBC. To become net-zero carbon (Paris Proof) before 2045, the company drew up a roadmap for the Fund. In 2022, the Fund incorporated the technologies, measures and costs required for the implementation in its strategic maintenance plan for the coming years.
Combatting Climate Change: source of energy
During 2022, the Fund focused on implementing measures to further improve the sustainability of its assets which resulted in a decline in electricity consumption of 3.4% (2021: -3.8%) and 1.6% lower total energy consumption (2021: -5.4%), both on a like-for-like basis. GHG emissions increased by 3.0% due to the slightly higher use of natural gas. Both the energy reductions and the lower GHG emissions are for common areas. The Fund purchases renewable electricity for common areas, while property managers are required to deliver energy-efficient alternatives for repairs and replacements based on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) approach.
Renewable energy production
The Fund has increased the generation of solar power, both for new properties and existing apartments and houses. The Fund came close to achieving its goal for 2022 through the installation of 17,966 kWp of solar panels. The goal in 2022 was to focus on the installation of more than 18,500 kWp of solar panels by the end of 2022. The Fund continued with its plans to fit all existing apartment buildings and houses with solar power in 2022.
Combatting Climate Change: Energy efficiency of buildings
The Fund's target was to have energy label A or better for 65% for the portfolio at the end of 2022. The Fund met this target in 2022 (label A is 79.3%). In addition, the Fund has a 100% green portfolio, as all assets had an energy label A, B or C. The distribution of energy labels in the portfolio is shown below. Investment properties under construction are excluded from this overview. The Fund expects all these properties to receive an energy label A upon delivery. 1.6% of the labels have expired due to the implementation of sustainability measures, new labels are drawn up after completion.
In the 2022-2024 Fund Plan, the Fund redefined its target to energy label A for at least 75% of the portfolio (NZEB2 150) in 2024. The Fund will also continue to invest in its standing portfolio to reduce NZEB2 levels to a minimum of 150 and achieve a minimum average GPR score of 6.5 in 2024.
Distribution of energy labels 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 ): ≤40 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
Bouwinvest actively invests in improving its reputation because this generates more trust and loyalty among clients, chain partners, tenants and employees. As a financial service provider, Bouwinvest benefits from a strong reputation because this has a positive impact in terms of attracting investors, making new real estate investments and the recruitment of new employees. Bouwinvest conducts a reputation survey every two years to determine how its various stakeholders perceive the company. This includes issues such as satisfaction with services and products, as well as leadership shown and performance measured in financial and social returns.
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 7.8.
Product accountability: Tenant satisfaction
The Fund has made the satisfaction of its tenants a major priority, as an integral part of its wider ambition: to be more client-centric and data-driven in its approach to all its stakeholders. The Fund wants to continue to improve the quality and efficiency of its processes, to optimise its contacts with its tenants and to take a more proactive approach to how to provide its services.
In 2022, the Fund initiated the following actions to engage with its tenants and to optimise its services:
Greengagement: Bouwinvest makes its homes more sustainable
The Fund has chosen to work towards a liveable, affordable and sustainable world. This is why the Fund plans to make all its homes more energy efficient before 2045. The Fund will do this for its tenants, but also with its tenants. To keep tenants informed of its plans and projects, The Fund sends a twice-yearly newsletter 'Sustainable Living Update'. In 2021, only 30.8% of the tenants considered energy-efficient living an important topic. This had risen to 76.3% of the tenants in 2022.
Living with Bouwinvest app
Giving tenants the opportunity to handle all their rental matters easily via an app, was the next step in the plans to improve the Fund's services. The residents of Het Dok in Amsterdam were the first tenants to receive their own ‘Living with Bouwinvest’ tenant portal app. Tenants can use this app to easily arrange their rental matters, ask questions and share messages with fellow residents (community), submit repair requests (linked directly with the contractor) and register for events with fellow residents. This app was first introduced for Het Dok, Sluishuis (both in Amsterdam) and Next (in Eindhoven) and the Fund plans to roll the app out across multiple (new-build) complexes. All tenants have had access to their own Living with Bouwinvest tenant portal via the web since 2020, and 68% of them are currently using this environment. This app will enable the Fund to offer more services to tenants.
Over 90% of the tenants have now activated the app. The Fund will also continue to work on the further development and optimisation of this app to increase tenant satisfaction and engagement.
Green rental contracts
As a part of its drive to continue to improve its current sustainability levels in the long term, the Fund believes it needs to address the ‘user effect’. By adding a separate appendix to the dos and don’ts for the use of its homes, the Fund wants to accelerate the realisation of its sustainability goals and ambitions. The Fund strongly believes that engaging its tenants in its efforts to increase the sustainability of its portfolio will make the Fund far more successful in the long run.
The target for 2022 was to have a sustainability clause included in 40% of all rental contracts. By the end of 2022, the Fund was well on track, as 40.2% of all rental contracts now have a sustainability clause.
Bouwinvest takes an active approach to raising ESG awareness throughout the real estate industry. 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 Fund's target was for all its tenants and communities to have an AED available within six minutes walking distance by the end of 2022. The Fund had achieved this target by the end of 2022. The Fund is also planning to install AEDs at all new assets it adds to its portfolio.
Acquisitions in the mid-rental segment (288 units with monthly rent between € 764,- to € 1.060*): Annually >75%
Tenant satisfaction score: >7
4. Contributing to healthy, safe and good working conditions
Considerate constructors scheme (construction sites)
The Fund's target was to have more than 75% of its construction sites registered under the Considerate Constructors (Bewuste Bouwers) scheme by the end of 2022. The Fund achieved its target, as 86.5% of its construction sites were registered with the scheme. This ensures that contractors deal with the concerns of local residents and address safety and environmental issues during the construction phase.
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 following the qualifications set out in Article 10 and 11 of the TR.
At the same time, the economic activities do not significantly harm any other of the environmental objectives.
Furthermore, the economic activities are carried out in compliance with the minimum safeguards set out 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 in the course of 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 their Taxonomy alignment. Until the net risk is available, physical climate risk is assessed based on gross risk (surrounding risk).
The current NAV of the portfolio stands at € 7,613 million, 44% of which (GAR) is EU Taxonomy-aligned. Split into to different objectives, the results are as follows:
Taxonomy aligment of investments
34% 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 fact that the economic activities do not significantly harm any other environmental objectives due to the limited physical climate risks.
10% of the Fund’s underlying investments that 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 die to the number of B or C energy labels.
56% 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.