ING Real Estate has introduced a program in the United States establishing sustainability guidelines for new acquisitions, development projects and the asset management of its real estate investments. The program is designed to encourage transactions involving properties with sustainable design and components while promoting superior asset management practices such as long-term energy management in support of ING Group's worldwide commitment to reduce its carbon footprint.
"ING Real Estate is committed to sustainability as a critical component of our investment programme," said Victoria Kahn, Managing Director at the firm. "This initiative sets forth a series of formal guidelines and goals that will provide the basis for our sustainability effort as we move forward."
The ING Real Estate initiative is based in part on the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Rating System (LEED) established by the U.S. Green Building Council. The guidelines adopted by the firm require that in most instances new ground up development be certified as sustainable under the LEED-NC (New Construction), LEED-CS (Core & Shell), or LEED-ND (Neighbourhood Development) standards. The firm is targeting a LEED certification of Silver or above.
Acquisitions of new properties will require an assessment to identify sustainable elements and opportunities for improving existing sustainability. For properties currently held in its portfolio, ING Real Estate will develop sustainability targets designed to encourage the addition of "green" property characteristics, along with benchmarking to Energy Star ratings.
"Over time, we plan to improve the 'green' elements across our portfolio," said Kahn. "Given the current awareness of the importance of sustainability and the trends in energy demand we think this will benefit our clients, our properties and our tenants."
Source: ING Real Estate