Strategy & Organisation
Bringing people together:
“we aim to realize sustainable growth for our stakeholders while increasing our social impact and reducing our environmental footprint"
For Wereldhave, sustainability means investing time, effort and money in our assets and employees, in order to strengthen the relationship with all stakeholders, including the tenants and visitors of our shopping centres. This will lead to more sustainable and profitable returns on capital in the short and long term.
Wereldhave wants to combine sustainability and commercial business in an integrated approach. To underpin our ambitions, we have a framework to integrate sustainability into our overall strategy and operations.
A supportive framework
Our Sustainability Framework consists of four pillars: 'Bricks', 'People', 'Partners' and 'Society'. With a strong focus on social inclusion it is designed to support our business operations by guiding investment decisions that benefit the communities our properties serve. Social contact is a major driver for people to visit our shopping centres. That is why we aim to allocate 1% of our net rental income annually to projects that connect to the community. While generating higher footfall, increasing the length of customer visits and improving turnover for our tenants, we also strive to lower service costs, strengthening portfolio occupancy rates and increasing rental value.
Local sustainability coordinators are responsible for our local sustainability activities and local reporting, whereas the leasing, operations, development and marketing managers implement such activities within their budgets. The local sustainability coordinators report to the Group Sustainability Committee (GSC). The GSC is chaired by the CEO,the other members are the CFO, HR Director, country directors, and the Group CSR Manager.
The materiality matrix was reviewed in 2016 after stakeholder consultations. Some minor changes were undertaken in view of progress already made and to align the targets with our business operations.
The targets per pillar are directly related to the matrix and substantial progress has been made so far. It is however too early to change the targets; we see that awareness for each pillar - and the synergy between the pillars - is increasing within the organisation. We did however sharpen some targets for 2017. Especially the BREEAM In-Use certification of our shopping centres is key, since it requires an integrated management approach which covers all aspects of the framework. We aim to further strengthen the connection between the materiality matrix and our operational performance.
Milestones and objectives
In all countries, sustainability is now fully embedded in the shopping centre budgets and business plans. Monitoring progress on sustainability is an integrated part of the centre's operations and sustainability is included in the shopping centres business plans. Data quality has improved significantly with the introduction of smart metering; monitoring sustainability progress is fully integrated in our reporting cycle. We aim to implement external verification within the next few years, adding to the solid basis we already have in place.
For the third year in a row, Wereldhave rated GRESB Green Star. Wereldhave was also included in the DJSI Europe and we are proud of the progress we made relative to our peers.