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Testimonial: Cofinimmo

Hanna De Groote

Being a major real estate player in Europe, Cofinimmo has been committed for more than ten years to a global ESG strategy. In 2019, we decided to scale up our environmental ambitions to address the risks associated with climate change. This strategic thinking led to project 30³, whose objective is to reduce the energy intensity of our overall portfolio by 30% (compared to 2017), in order to reach 130 kWh/m² by 2030.

Convinced that science-based climate action is the most effective way to achieve our objectives, we have confirmed our commitment to ESG in 2020 by validating the objective of the project 30³ through the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and by becoming a member of the Belgian Alliance for Climate Action (BACA). A step we were actually considering for some years already, but we had to fine-tune our GHG accounting and reporting methods in order to understand thoroughly the SBTi first.

Using a bottom-up approach based on the actual performance of each individual asset of our portfolio, we were able to objectivise the effort to be made in order to contribute to the global objective of limiting global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees. Nevertheless, we knew that only a 360-degree approach, taking into account the entire life cycle of buildings, would enable us to achieve the objective set.

As Head of ESG, my role is to propose concrete and economically reasonable measures to improve the environmental performance of our company, that of our assets and, by extension, that of the spaces occupied by our tenants.

In 2014, we prepared our first materiality analysis in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines. An analysis that has been reviewed and refined on an annual basis since. When looking at our nine material priority areas, two environmental challenges linked to GHG emissions stood out: i) the energy intensity of our portfolio and ii) the mobility linked to the accessibility of our portfolio.

We then decided to commit to reducing the absolute scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions by 50% (compared to 2018) by 2030, and to measuring and reducing our scope 3 emissions. To do so, we actually apply the following 4-tier approach[1].

MEASURE: we gradually, and more optimally, record the consumption of the buildings’ facilities.

PREVENT: we prevent consumption through the redevelopment or large-scale renovation of the portfolio.

RENEWABLES: Cofinimmo has signed a contract for the supply of green electricity for directly managed portfolio in the healthcare real estate and office segments since 2007. The GHG emissions linked to this contract are therefore reduced to 0.

REDUCE: a sustainable collaboration agreement (between landlords and tenants), that makes it possible to share consumption data and to implement initiatives to reduce it, is in place.

We believe that it is possible to aim for a carbon neutral society by 2050 while guaranteeing the interests of all stakeholders. The target by 2030 will be highlighted with clear intermediate milestones while preparing our ambitions towards 2050 or earlier.

[1] With regard to acquisitions we analyse environmental performance of every asset during the due diligence phase in order to monitor impact of acquisition on the target.