Bouwinvest endeavours to optimise long term alliances with our stakeholders. We have put methods and means in place to understand, meet and respond to our stakeholders needs and to take to heart the issues that our stakeholders find important. Next to this we take an active approach to raising environmental, social and governance awareness throughout the real estate industry.
Engaging with stakeholders
At Bouwinvest, we believe the best way to engage our stakeholders is through open and transparent dialogue and positive collaboration that cements long-term returns on investment and creates more impact. We actively cooperate with existing tenants on initiatives to optimise comfort and energy efficiency. We continue to work with our property managers, local authorities and tenants to provide comfortable, safe and convenient shopping areas in our retail assets. So far, six assets have been assessed or are in the process of being assessed for the ‘Keurmerk Veilig Ondernemen’ safety certification.
The Retail Fund is constantly looking for ways to work with retailers and other tenants, as well as other stakeholders in the local community, to improve the sustainability of our assets. And more and more retailers are now keen to improve their own sustainability performance and to make use of the knowledge and experience we have acquired on this front. For instance, in what could be considered a landmark agreement, we recently teamed up with Ahold, the parent company of Albert Heijn supermarkets, to achieve shared goals on the sustainability front. Ahold is looking to achieve CO2-neutral supermarkets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, while the Retail Fund’s goal is to maximise the sustainability of all its assets. With this shared goal in mind, Ahold has agreed to share data on energy use, water consumption and waste disposal, as well as any planned renovations.
At the same time, the Fund will provide Ahold with information on the BREEAM labelling of the shopping centre, the energy label of individual Albert Heijn supermarkets and data on the insulation quality of roofs, floors and walls in its supermarkets, as well as any planned asset renovations. The two will then use this data to identify potential measures to improve energy and water use, cut CO2 emissions and improve waste disposal. This could include improving insulation during renovations, installing solar panels on roofs, placing charging points in car parks and a whole host of other measures. The data provided will be the key to identifying the right measures for each individual supermarket or retail asset. In late 2018, the Fund and Ahold launched a pilot project with two supermarkets in the Fund’s assets and expect to roll out the initiative on a wider scale sometime in 2019. The Fund sees this as an outstanding model for cooperation with other tenants in its portfolio and hopes other retailers will follow suit.
The Retail Fund conducts a bi-annual tenant satisfaction survey, which provides insight into the satisfaction of tenants and highlights potential improvements. Although there was no survey in 2018, the Fund was in continuous contact with its tenants throughout the year.
In response to the results from previous tenant satisfaction surveys, in 2018 Bouwinvest unveiled plans to set up a tenants’ portal, which will go live in 2019. This will provide tenants with a digital channel for repair requests, complaints and all the information they need about their lease contracts, service charges and payments, and gives them a channel to contact our property managers with queries and any issues they may have.
These are all developments that make communications with our tenants more efficient and more effective, which we expect to improve tenant satisfaction. Of course, tenants will still be able to communicate with our property managers via traditional channels, as there is still a need for these channels.
Target on engage with stakeholders
Conduct satisfaction survey for tenants every two years. Satisfaction target > 7
On track: average satisfaction increased to 6.5 from 5.8 (survey 2017)
We take an active approach to raising environmental, social and governance awareness throughout the real estate industry. We encourage our partners to enhance their sustainability performance. We focus on: health & safety at construction sites, active participation (memberships) in industry associations and community programmes. To further improve the climate for real estate investments, we are an active member of boards and committees of sector, industry and cross-disciplinary networks such as Neprom, IVBN, Holland Metropole, DGBC, INREV and ULI.
The Retail Fund applies the Dutch Considerate Constructors Scheme (Bewuste Bouwer) to all new-build projects and redevelopments. These criteria ensure that the contractor deals with the concerns of local residents, and addresses safety and environmental issues during the construction phase.
Target on sustainable stewardship
In 2020, 75% of construction sites (€) registered under Considerate Constructors Scheme (‘Bewuste Bouwer’)
On track. End of 2018 23.8%. Pertains to one development project