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. In addition 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 that 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.
Based on the results of the tenants satisfaction survey conducted in 2018, our property managers have drawn up action plans with a number of specific priorities. We have communicated with our tenants regarding the outcome of the tenant satisfaction survey via tenants meetings, newsletters and personal contacts with the facility managers and/or board members of our tenants.
The Office Fund conducts an annual tenant satisfaction survey, which provides insight into the satisfaction of tenants and highlights potential improvements. The overall score was 6.6 in 2018 (2017: 6.8) and the participation rate was 63% (2017: 38%). The survey was sent to 203 tenants in total and 127 of these completed the questionnaire in full (2017: 74 out of 204). The respons would be 87% weighted to rental income (2017: 59%).
The sharp increase of the response rate is due to a very active approach from our property managers in providing tenants with nay help they may need to participate in the survey. Despite the higher tenant engagement, the overall satisfaction score was lower than in 2017. Scores per asset vary, of course, but some assets deviate significantly from others. One large tenant in WTC The Hague had a partularly marked impact on both the score for this asset and the average score at portfolio level, because the result is calculated pro rata according to the weighting of the annual rent per tenant. The average portfolio score would be 6.9 if we were to adjust the results for this black spot. A lower average portfolio score is also due to a lower score for the Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam). Tenants of this asset have suffered from delays in property upgrade projects, while these are aimed at improving their comfort. We expect a rise in this asset's satisfaction score after completion in 2019.
As is the case every year, the climate in office units is one of the most important elements in terms of tenant satisfaction. Improving of this type of comfort is always an integral part of planned maintenance and other projects to enhance assets. However, the Fund is increasingly faced with the dilemma of having to make a choice between comfort and energy efficiency as it strives to achieve targets to improve both tenant satisfaction and the sustainability of its asset. Answers to open questions were once again very interesting and gives us an excellent starting point for a personal approach to a number of tenants. We will again work with our property managers to come up with an action plan to improve results.
To focus on the performance of climate installations and energy efficiency, the Fund concluded an Energy Performance Contract with Engie. This new form of collaboration between various stakeholders was introduced for WTC The Hague and aims to improve the energy efficiency and indoor climate for the building's tenants.
In addition to this, a sustainable procurement document we have developed will enable us to improve sustainable maintenance of our assets.
Target on engage with stakeholders
Tenant satisfaction survey to score higher than 7
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.
All the construction sites related to assets in the Office Fund are registered under the Dutch Considerate Constructors Scheme (Bewuste Bouwer). This ensures the contractor deals with the concerns of local residents and addresses safety and environmental issues during the contruction phase. These include Building 1962, Building 1931 and Hourglass, all of which are located in Amsterdam. Central Park (Utrecht), the construction of which scheduled to start in early 2019, was recently registered under the scheme. Thanks to this initiative, the Fund is making a significant contribution to stewardship on the execution side of the construction industry.
Together with the DGBC, we are participating in the Deltaplan Sustainable Renovation Offices working group, in which we are working with other industry players and industry associations (including the IVBN) to create a roadmap of the steps that need to be taken to make sure the office buildings in the Netherlands meet the requirements of the Paris climate agreement.
The Fund’s involvement in social and sustainability initiatives sometimes goes beyond asset level. For instance, in the area around the Olympic Stadium – The Olympic Amsterdam – the Fund initiated the setting up of a Business Investment Zone (Bedrijven Investeringszone - BIZ) foundation. A survey into potential support for this initiative conducted in early 2018 led to the set-up of this foundation, which involves cooperation from local businesses and property owners.
Target on sustainable stewardship
In 2020, 75% of construction sites (€) registered under Considerate Constructors Scheme (‘Bewuste Bouwer’)
All projects under construction (Central Park, Hourglass, Building 1931 and Building 1962, all in Amsterdam) are registered.