MISSION 2040: INVESTING RESPONSIBLY
Deliberately linking purpose and impact to our business ambitions
In previous editions of this report, we have explained that we have set ourselves an ambitious target called Mission 2040 to contribute to the decarbonisation of the real estate sector and we have outlined how we intend to achieve that goal by following the steps described in more detail on this page.
For the past few years our ambition has largely been driven by the conviction that this is simply the right thing to do. The Paris Agreement of 2015 set the overarching decarbonisation requirement for the planet, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists tell us that with every passing year, the urgency is increasing for individuals, corporations and nation states to take action. But in 2022, the geopolitical and macroeconomic developments have added another level of urgency: the war in Ukraine and the resulting natural gas shortages and significant increase of global energy prices have made many stakeholders in the real estate sector recognise the need for greater energy efficiency and more rapid decarbonisation of existing stock, both from a cost perspective and from a resilience perspective. So now there is a business case!
Requisite retrofit and improvement measures still require capital and high inflation and interest rates make this more challenging in the short term, but these global developments only strengthen our conviction to be proactive, and to engage with our tenants and our supply chain partners to make deliberate improvements to our assets. These investments will generate a return, though we feel that our efforts are not yet sufficiently reflected in the way assets are valued. That too, is – in our opinion – only a matter of time.
“For the past few years our ambition has largely been driven by the conviction that this is simply the right thing to do.”
Purpose and impact
During the course of 2022 the management team at Redevco decided to sharpen our vision and mission. Staying true to our heritage, our vision is based on the belief that cities must make a positive contribution to the health and well-being of both people and the planet. Our mission is “to lead the transformation of cities to ensure they are sustainable and liveable.” See the case study here.
With the demographic and urbanisation trends and forecasts at the forefront of our minds, we recognise that our mission statement is ambitious. Therefore, it forces us to look at our activities in a more holistic way and to deliberately affirm how we are intending to deliver positive impact in the pursuit of liveable and sustainable cities.
We have furthermore defined four impact outcomes that are an expression of our mission:
- To combat climate change by reducing the environmental impact (and especially the carbon emissions) of our assets under management
- To increase the availability of locally relevant, sustainable and affordable residential units
- To make cities more vibrant, dynamic and sustainable by restoring and repurposing existing buildings to meet ever-changing needs
- To accelerate the shift to a circular and regenerative economic model for real estate through experimentation and (technological) innovation
Taken individually, or in any combination with each other, these four impact outcomes reflect Redevco’s understanding of what it means to invest responsibly within the urban real estate context. This will be the framework for how we approach our transactions, asset management and asset development activities in the years to come.
However, formulating a mission statement with impact outcomes is hardly enough. We need and want to be able to demonstrate our progress. Our climate ambition is clear and we reported last year that we had joined many other companies in committing to set a Science-Based Target for GHG emissions reduction in line with the 1.5°C scenario of the Paris Agreement. Our baseline data and our target are at the time of writing with SBTi for validation. Our target comprises our full Scope 1 and 2 as well as material Scope 3 emissions, the most material of which is the category downstream leased assets – essentially our tenants’ emissions associated with occupying our assets. And in this year’s report, we are presenting for the first time the emissions for our assets under management for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Please see page … for more details and commentary. Furthermore, throughout this report we hope that our readers will recognise how our various projects and initiatives are contributing not only to our stated ambitions, but also the way in which we approach our work is exemplary of responsible investment.
Alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals
The UN defines sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. For Redevco, this means we take a long-term view wherever possible and approach our work with a deliberately holistic view, striving to deliver on the aforementioned impact outcomes. Out of the 17 SDGs, we have identified four that relate to our business ambitions and top material issues. Making a clear link to the relevant SDGs is an expression of our commitment to contribute – in however small or large a way – to society at large and the communities of which we are a part through our business.
The most material goals reflect our ambition to be a force for good as well as our aim to take leadership in the transition to a resilient and net zero carbon built environment. Launching Mission 2040 and working actively towards a Net Zero Carbon portfolio in the coming two decades is our way of contributing deliberately to two significant SDGs, namely SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG 13: Climate Action. See the chapter ‘Our roadmap to 2040’ for more details.
The formulation of our new mission statement “To lead the transformation of cities to ensure they are sustainable and liveable” can be directly linked to SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. We recognise that it’s not just about making our individual assets more energy efficient, low carbon and resilient, but that our assets contribute more broadly to the social fabric of streets and neighbourhoods and we therefore have a responsibility to consider these impacts deliberately through our asset management and development activities as we strive to deliver high-quality and well-managed buildings to our occupiers.
Our view is also that we should contribute as much as possible to an acceleration of the whole sector’s journey towards decarbonisation, and for that reason Redevco colleagues regularly contribute to panel discussions or provide presentations at national and international industry associations or events. In 2022, Redevco joined together with 6 other real estate players to sponsor a ULI (Urban Land Institute)-led programme dubbed “C Change” designed to mobilise the European real estate sector to decarbonise. The programme focuses on a number of specific intervention points where actors in our industry can actively apply pressure to stimulate industry-wide change. Through active involvement on the C Change Steer-Co, we learn from each other and we also challenge each other to raise the bar on ‘responsible investing’ in real estate. It is our conviction that participating in these forums helps us have a positive impact on moving our industry forward and reflects our contribution to SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals.
Head of Sustainability