The first pillar of Wereldhave’s sustainability framework is dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of our real estate assets. Through the optimisation of energy efficiency, the use of sustainable materials and the promotion of public transportation, we aim to minimise our portfolio’s environmental impact. 

The three key targets of this pillar are:  

Improve energy efficiency by 30% between 2013 and 2020

With smart metering in all assets and an Energy Profiling System, Wereldhave is able to monitor energy and water consumption in its assets on a 24/7 basis. The system generates detailed analyses per asset, which are a recurring topic on the Bricks Days and local management meetings. These analyses provide valuable insight and if necessary, specific action can be taken. The energy performance is shared with tenants during tenant meetings.

The benefits of these analyses are clear, but we can still improve on this by checking energy and water consumption online weekly instead of quarterly. We need to raise awareness at the property managers level to make this part of their routine operations. Another initiative to meet our 2020 target is organising regular 'Night Walks' in our shopping centres. Night Walks are organised and attended by the shopping centre manager, technical manager and local Sustainability coordinator after operation hours to identify unnecessary energy consumptions. A detailed report with photos and energy saving tips is written and used to take energy reduction actions and monitor the energy reduction progress being made.

In 2017 we have added specific targets for water, waste and renewable energy to the overall key target. In 2017 waste management plans must be implemented in all our assets, together with a water efficiency program.

In 2016 nearly 5,400 solar panels were installed on the rooftops of our Dutch shopping centres. We aim to produce 2,000 MWh of renewable energy before the year 2020.

In 2016 total electricity consumption in our shopping centres was reduced by 3,3%, gas consumption went down by 18,5% and district heating consumption increased by 3,2% against the previous year. Based on like-for-like comparisons, energy consumption dropped by 2,6%. This is an important step in our commitment to our long-term target of increasing energy efficiency by 30%.

Health, safety and risk assessments for shopping centres in 2018

In November 2015 the Group Sustainability Committee decided to make health, safety and risk assessments for our shopping centres a new sustainability target for 2015, as they connect with all the pillars in our framework.

In 2016 a Health & Safety Dashboard was developed by the Bricks working group. This dashboard monitors presence and expiration dates of certificates and reports related to asbestos, legionella, HVAC installations, elevators, emergency plans, etc and is devided into the following categories: health & wellbeing, energy management, building & technical installations. The target for 2017 is to produce a quarterly H&S dashboard. A detailed planning was made in 2016 and the first assessments are expected to be competed in Q1 2017.

Achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’ for shopping centres in 2020

BREEAM certification provides a full assessment of the common areas of each asset to improve our environmental impact over time.

We achieved BREEAM certification for fifteen shopping centres: Itis in Finland, Vier Meren, Koningshoek, Eggert and Roselaar in the Netherlands, Saint Sever, Docks Vauban, Docks 76, Meriadeck, Rivetoile and Cote Seine in France and Nivelles Shopping, Ring Shopping, Shopping 1, Gent Overpoort in Belgium. A detailed re-certification plan was made for all covered shopping centres, thus excluding Emiclaer Amersfoort, as only covered common areas are within its scope. In 2016 the certification process started for six shopping centres in the Netherlands, two in Belgium and six in France, more shopping centres will follow in 2017. Currently, 14 shopping centres meet the requirements for a BREEAM 'Very Good' rating, or higher. We will maintain our target to have a 'Very Good' certification for all shopping centres in 2020.

For 2017, we aim to complete the BREEAM in use certification process for seven shopping centres. In 2016, Wereldhave analysed fifteen assets using the BREEAM International In Use assessment scheme. The purpose of the studies was twofold: to determine the existing ecological value of the assets, and to identify possible methods for improving the ecological value of the assets. To this end, Wereldhave commissioned ecological assets in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. These assessments utilized the BREEAM In Use assessment system, and analysed the assets with regard to the category for Land Use and Ecology.

There have been risks and opportunities identified following this ecological assessment. On of the risks is that the majority of assets have little or no green space, thus offering limited ecological value to the area. And the maintenance program for existing green spaces is limited, which is leading to a decline of the existing plan material. Where plant material is present, the use of a few standard plan types exposes these plantings to risk of disease and drought. Finally the mixed-use nature of many assets may make improvements to the sites challenging, due to possible difficulty to work with residential neighbors.

Opportunities following the ecological assessment included that there is enhancement of ecological value possible during redevelopment projects in the Netherlands. The upgrades could include green roofs, green walls, replacement of hard surfaces with planted zones and the installation of bird and bad boxes, insect hotels and wooden walls. Other opportunities could be found in a stronger cooperation with the local community and municipality and gain more knowledge and expertise from professionals and organisations during the early phases of any redevelopments.

Sharing best practices

Particularly the Bricks Days create a useful platform for sharing knowledge. The working group convenes two times per year to discuss our sustainability progress and to identify quick proven wins.

The BREEAM certification process of our shopping centres has already provided valuable insights in room for improvement and we are working on sharing best practices for Wereldhave shopping centres to improve our performance. This standardisation is part of a uniform portfolio approach for BREEAM certification rating for all shopping centres.

  • Improve energy efficiency by 30% (baseline 2013) | 2020
  • Health, safety and risk assessments for shopping centres | 2018
  • Achieve BREEAM 'Very Good' for shopping centres | 2020