Monitoring environmental performance data (energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste) is an important part of managing sustainability issues. The Fund tracks and aims to improve the environmental performance of its managed real estate assets: those properties where the Fund is responsible for purchasing and managing consumption. The Fund reports on energy consumption (electricity, heating and gas: the energy components) for apartment buildings which translates to greenhouse gas emissions and reflects 55% of the portfolio.
In 2012, the Fund set a target to reduce energy consumption in communal spaces by at least 10% in 2015. By selecting and focusing on the top 50 users and installing LED lighting and relocating sensors, it is on track to meet this target. The Fund managed to cut energy consumption in common areas on a like-for-like basis by 4.1% in the period 2012-2014. To improve monitoring, the Fund installed 174 smart meters, now covering 86% of total connections.
The Fund's ambition to increase the coverage and as such the transparency of its our environmental impact according to INREV sustainability guidelines is reflected in the key CSR data summary. For more detailed information on the key performance indicators, please see the Annual Report of the management company.
The Fund purchases renewable electricity for common areas, while property managers are required to deliver sustainable alternatives for repairs and replacements based on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) principle. The Fund’s standard programme of requirements includes water-saving fittings, while we are also investigating the potential use of water buffering and partly recycled (non-drinking) water, for instance for the maintenance of green areas. This puts the Fund among the most sustainable residential funds in the Netherlands.
Here comes the sun
In 2014, the Residential Fund launched the 'Zonnig huren' solar power pilot project, with the aim of installing solar panels on the roofs of family homes right across the Fund’s portfolio. The idea behind the project is to team up with tenants to maximise energy use from renewable sources and, very importantly, reduce energy costs for tenants.
Bouwinvest offered to have the solar panels fitted in exchange for a small increase in rent. The selling point of the project is that it is a potential winner on the people, planet and profit fronts. It cuts energy bills for tenants and reduces the environmental impact of the homes, while also improving the quality – and value – of the assets and paving the way for higher grade energy labels.
The take-up was modest but encouraging for the first year of the pilot, and we believe the anecdotal evidence from early adopters and proof of potential savings is likely to convince more tenants to switch to solar power. We will be taking this to the next phase in 2015, upgrading from a pilot project to a full-scale initiative at a much wider range of residential properties.
- 690 solar panels
- 146,669 kWh renewable energy added
- 67,458 kg CO2 reduction per annum