On Thursday, November 19th, REP (Real Estate Publishers) gathered eight leading players in sustainable retail development, management, finance, and design at the Majestic Hotel in Cannes, France. Organized in cooperation with the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and MAPIC, the fifth retail sustainability roundtable demonstrated the significant progress made since the first roundtable in 2007, while highlighting the considerable distance that still needs to be covered.
By Bernd Struben, Senior Editor, REP
FLTR Clockwise: Mathieu Regnault, Marketing Manager, Reed MIDEM; Derek Barker, Managing Director, Haskoll; Paul Edwards, Head of Sustainability, Hammerson; Nadia Boschi, Sustainability Manager, Bovis Lend Lease; Jean-Michel Despaux, Head of Property Development, Wilhelm & Co; Bernd Struben, Senior Editor, REP; Marinus Dijkman, President, REP; Christian Grossschartner, Development Director, RED; Filipa Fernandes, Head of Research & Innovation, SES Spar; Jasper Klapwijk, General Manager Strategy & Marketing, ING Real Estate Development; Alvaro Portela, CEO, Sonae Sierra; Eva Gherdani, Conferences Manager, Reed MIDEM; Willem Kars, Corporate Branding, REP
The first REP and ICSC sustainability roundtable took place at the Hotel Ambassador in Paris in September 2007, followed by a second gathering hosted by MAPIC in Cannes in November 2007. The third roundtable took place at the Movenpick Hotel in Amsterdam in July 2008, while the fourth was held in November 2008 in the Majestic Hotel in Cannes.
At the fifth gathering there was unanimous agreement for a pressing need to move forward with creating an effective pan-European rating system that can be compared across borders. The current systems still offer too much variance between different countries. Most participants agreed and were able to demonstrate that sustainability adds value to shopping centers, and that it is more than simply about saving energy (though that is quite important) but involves the larger picture of improving the quality of life for shoppers, employees, and neighbors.