Society

The fourth pillar of Wereldhave's sustainability framework focuses on our social responsibility towards the society in the catchment areas of our shopping centres. We aim to foster social inclusion and to play a meaningful role in the local community.

Three key targets were set, to be achieved by the end of 2016:

Improve retail customer satisfaction to 'good' rating

The aim is to achieve a score of 7.5 (good) or higher. A positive customer experience drives footfall and dwell-time, resulting in higher spending and an increased turnover for our tenants.

Wereldhave measures footfall in all of its shopping centres and monitors trends and developments continuously. In addition, customer satisfaction surveys are also held every other year. These surveys follow a uniform but condensed questionnaire.

In 2016, customer surveys were held in 8 shopping centres in the Netherlands. In Finland, interviews in It is were held in 2016. Standardised customer satisfaction reviews were held for the first time in all 6 shopping centres in France. In Belgium reviews were held in 2015 in 6 shopping centres. The coverage of the assets where a tenant satisfaction survey was done in the last three years is 100%.

The average score in 2016 amounted to 7.7. The questionnaires are analysed per shopping centre and the analysis is discussed in management team meetings. Specific actions for improvement are then decided for each shopping centre, and laid down in the shopping centre business plans. These plans are monitored on a quarterly basis. 

Invest 1% of NRI to strengthen our connection to local community

We have set the target for community servicing investments at 1% of the Net Rental Income (NRI). A Group average of 0.9% of NRI was invested in local communities in 2016. In 2014 we spent 0,6% of NRI, in 2015 0,8% of NRI.

Our investments include contributions in kind and cash contributions to facilitate the organising of meaningful events. To keep our operational costs low, the majority of contributions consist in providing space for free.

Well over 200 events were organised in our shopping centres, ranging from "the longest dining table" for the elderly to fundraising for a local charity, such as the Linda Foundation in the Netherlands and the Hope foundation in Finland.

These foundations aim to support families in financial difficulties during the festive season. The charity stands were largely manned by Wereldhave staff, but even on of our four Supervisory board members volunteered to raise funds in one of our shopping centres for several hours. The prices were provided by our tenants, and ranged from substantial discounts to gifts. The participants to the charity event could be recognised by speical signs at their entrance door and most tenants gladly participated. A total of € 50,000 was raised for the Linda Foundation and 1,500 gifts for the Hope Foundation.

The "longest dining table" was an event that was initially organised in one of our Belgian shopping centres. As it was a great success it was repeated in three Dutch shopping centres in 2015 and seven in 2016. This is a good example of sharing best practices within the organisation and we aim to further standardise events. It will not only reduce costs, but also lowers the impact of organising such events on the organisation. Administrative measures were set up last year to record space that has been provided for free. The contribution is measured at the centre's estimated rental value per m2 for the period, without any further charges. Contributions in cash are measured at cost. 

95% of Wereldhave staff involved in social inclusion events

We encourage active participation by our staff in organising social events in the shopping centres. This works two-ways. Our employees not only act as ambassadors and engage our stakeholders, but it is also instrumental in embedding our key focus and cultural values within our own organisation. Employees in typical staff functions like accountants or administrative assistants get to visit our assets, engage with stakeholders and gain a thorough understanding of our day-to-day operations.

89% of our employees were involved in several events during the year. The event with the highest participation rate in the Netherlands was a two weeks period of fundraising for the Linda Foundation with a 98% participation rate. In Finland, a 100% staff involvement reached, in France 86% and in Belgium, we reached 72%.

From 2017 onwards, we have raised the target, that 100% of staff engages in at least one social inclusion activity per year.

Corporate sponsorship and philanthropy

In 2016 Wereldhave spent over € 170,000 on corporate sponsorships and philanthropy. Employees organised several fundraising events, such as participating in charity runs and the Amsterdam City Swim for ALS.

Wereldhave has been a proud sponsor of Macheo in Kenya for the past 4 years. Macheo, meaning sunrise in Swahili, symbolizes a new beginning for many Kenyan children. They provide fulltime family-oriented care at their Childrens' Home, nutritional meals at schools to increase attendance, healthcare information and medical care to families in need and educational seminars to empower families and their communities. 20,000 children in Thika, Kenya benefit from Macheo on a daily basis. In 2015, 10 Wereldhave employees visited Kenya to support Macheo in further professionalising their local operations.

In 2016, Wereldhave agreed to support the Amsterdam Carré Theatre in making its renowned and prestigious 19th century circus theater more sustainable. We are very proud we could contribute to the completely refurbished and refreshed Amstel Foyer. This shows that our social involvement goes beyond our own shopping centres.

We also sponsor the Festival Classique in The Hague, and young artists perform their arts in several of our shopping centres.

Targets
  • Improve retail customer satisfaction to good | 2017
  • Invest 1% of NRI to strengthen our connection to local community | 2017
  • 95% of Wereldhave staff involved in social inclusion events | 2017