Savills, the international property expert and Longevity Partners, the pan-European low carbon consultancy, are pleased to announce they have been appointed to carry out the first BREEAM In-Use (‘BIU’) sample-based certification pilot to cover 331 retail assets across Europe (excluding Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and Germany). The pilot is a global first for the building sustainability certification industry and an initiative of Redevco and BRE.
Redevco, one of the leading pan-European retail real estate investment managers with a total lease area of 3.2 million m² in 11 countries, continues to put sustainability at the heart of their asset management activities in order to future-proof the portfolios they manage on behalf of their clients.
With an aspiration to certify near to 100% of their assets under management against the BIU scheme by 2021, it welcomes the opportunity for this cost-effective and efficient certification process presented by the Building Research Establishment (‘BRE’), in partnership with Savills and Longevity.
Under the pilot, the existing certified assets in the Netherlands, the UK, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain and Portugal will be assessed. The pilot will assist in establishing a methodology to increase the efficiency of evidence collection and verification for large portfolios seeking to maintain certification, whilst not undermining the robustness of the BIU scheme. Audit selection will be conducted using a risk-based approach, as well as a randomised control group, to ensure that the outcome is representative of the overall group. This innovative approach to addressing the maintenance (renewal or re-certification) of a large volume of BIU certified assets will enable Redevco to reduce the total cost necessary to meet their certification ambitions significantly.
Clemens Brenninkmeijer, Head of Sustainable Operations at Redevco, said: “Our responsible investment approach can be summed up by the phrase ‘Greening through BREEAM-ing’. Certification is a requisite starting point to understand how to future-proof the various assets we manage. It is therefore important to ensure proper re-certification of our assets under management on a rolling basis. This sample-based audit approach allows us to do this in a cost effective way, making it possible for us to focus our efforts on improving the quality of the properties.”
Guido den Teuling, Senior Consultant at BRE and Project Manager of the volume sampling pilot said: “Redevco is a long-time user and supporter of BIU. Participating in this pilot underlines their commitment to the continuous development of BREEAM and provides an excellent opportunity to work in close partnership with clients and assessor organisations to develop efficient methodologies to certify large building portfolios.”
Etienne Cadestin, Managing Director of Longevity, said of the team’s appointment by Redevco: “Integrated operational sustainability not only reduces the impact on global climate change, but also reduces the operational cost of buildings and increases their value. Certifying the entire Redevco portfolio using this innovative BRE-led approach is an important first. With the emergence of green bonds, we foresee there is a growing need for the larger property companies, especially those with a well-established commitment to sustainability, to be able to acquire BIU status across their portfolio without having the need for every nook and cranny of every asset to be inspected.”
Alan Page, Sustainability Consultant at Savills added: “BIU is a powerful tool in understanding the operational performance of commercial buildings, particularly when it is applied on the scale that Redevco has achieved. However, the resource and cost required for continued maintenance of certification across a portfolio is often daunting, if not a barrier to entry entirely for most property companies. We are delighted to be working with Redevco, BRE and Longevity on this project, given their commitment to sustainability and experience in using BREEAM as a tool for improving the quality of real estate assets. We hope that this project will enhance the BIU scheme, so that it is better aligned with the operational requirements of Redevco and the real estate sector as a whole.”