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Definitely ambitious. That’s how Redevco’s plans can be described. With their Mission 2040 and the launch of their 14th Responsible Investment Report earlier this month, this European one-stop-shop for urban real estate committed to strive towards a Net Zero Carbon portfolio by 2040.

Sustainability manager Guido den Teuling talks about the ambitious plans. “It’s not just about our own offices, the properties we manage for others also must be Net Zero Carbon by 2040. Yes, we are ambitious because we truly believe that things can and must be done differently. We do it because we feel intrinsically motivated to act.”

More pleasant places to stay

As an urban real estate player, Redevco wants to contribute to the future of cities by creating dynamic locations and turning cities into sustainable and liveable places to live, work and play. Their Mission 2040 plays a major role in this. “Redevco takes a holistic approach towards sustainability. This means that we look at all aspects that make urban areas more pleasant places to live. In October 2019, we set a goal of making our entire portfolio Net Zero Carbon by 2040.” At Redevco, this goal is part of our ongoing efforts to act responsibly and reduce our impact on the environment.

We do it because we feel intrinsically motivated to act?

Guido den Teuling

Environmental performance

The built environment is responsible for more than 30% of global energy consumption. “We therefore consider it our responsibility to devise solutions and reduce CO2 emissions. It will have a significant impact if we improve the environmental performance of the assets we manage.” Mission 2040 is aligned with the World Green Building Council’s definition of Net Zero Carbon. This means that buildings must be highly energy efficient and generate their energy on-site and/or purchase renewable energy off-site.

Doing more than certifying

Redevco wants to do more than just obtain BREEAM certificates. “BREEAM is an important component and a confirmation of the improvements we are making, but that is not enough for us. We want to do more and our Mission 2040 ensures that.” Which choices are made and for which building depends on where it is in its life cycle, says den Teuling.

After a number of years, buildings are ready for redevelopment?

Guido den Teuling

“After a number of years, buildings need to be redeveloped. How large or radical the redevelopment must be depends on many factors, such as the condition of the building and the requirements of the tenant.” Making a property sustainable as Redevco envisages can sometimes take up to two years. “Permits must be applied for (and granted), plans must be drawn up by architects and engineers, after which the actual redevelopment and preservation can begin.”

Increased insulation value

Redevco’s Property manager Joep Wensveen gives some examples of buildings that have already been made more sustainable. “It concerns two retail properties in inner city areas. In Eindhoven, we made the C&A building more sustainable during a major redevelopment. We transformed the four floors into a new, modern shopping complex that also freed up space for the Hema, Starbucks and Rituals.” The building was completely disconnected from the natural gas grid and has heavier electrical connections so it is now heated and cooled all-electric. Solar panels have also been installed. Wensveen: “It is a building that defines the image and atmosphere of the city centre, and we always try to preserve that as much as possible.”

Energy-efficient lifts

The building on Vredenburg in Utrecht had two different facades due to earlier redevelopments. “By modifying the façade and fitting insulating glass, the insulation value of the building shell was improved and at the same time it was given a more modern look.” In addition, energy-efficient lifts, escalators and water-saving toilets, etc. were installed. “Furthermore, we are currently working with one of the tenants to install a large PV system on the roof.”

Is this the best that is possible?

Joep Wensveen

Sustainable national monument

And the ambition extends even further. Wensveen explains that work is currently underway on the most sustainable national monument in the Netherlands. “We are currently working on a new installation concept in which we are equipping the building with as many sensors as possible. We will use the data generated to further optimise the building’s energy performance wherever possible. Ultimately, everything is connected: heating, lighting and ventilation. After all, what does not need to be consumed in terms of energy, does not need to be generated. Insight is therefore crucial in order to make the right choices. For each sustainability measure, we ask ourselves ‘is this the best that we can do’?

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