Commercial. Environmental. Social.
Sustainable real estate investment seeks to ensure long-term value appreciation. As such, it is driven by clear financial criteria, but the benefits for the environment and society are also crucial aspects of sustainability. When all three components come together, it is primarily tenants who gain from a sustainably designed property.
A question of strategic orientation
A sustainable property portfolio can be achieved by means of long-term management planning, a clearly formulated strategy, and regular dialogue with tenants. At Union Investment, a team of experts with a track record have been using an established rating system since 2009 to implement and evolve our sustainability strategy.
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Our current focus areas
Sustainability performance of our funds
Using KPIs to document the sustainability performance of our real estate funds is important to us. It enables us to keep our investors informed, it creates greater transparency in the market and also allows comparisons between different products. We are currently able to provide KPIs for three large retail funds which are targeted at private investors and focus on commercial properties, plus data on five large vehicles for institutional investors.
Explanation of key figures
The final energy consumption and CO2 emissions figures provide information on resource efficiency with reference to floor space and per year. In addition, specific consumption data is adjusted for factors such as vacant space, the local climate and users with particularly high energy requirements in order to filter out fluctuations and ensure the best possible comparability of the values. Union Investment uses the adjustment formulas defined by the Germany Property Federation (ZIA).
The Sustainable Investment Check (SI Check) is a scoring module developed by Union Investment which measures the qualitative sustainability features of commercial properties. The SI Check covers features from six different categories: energy, resource use, economics, user comfort, operation, location.
Union Investment's green leases contain provisions in accordance with the guidance set out in “Green Lease Agreements – Recommended clauses and actions for sustainable building use” (as at 2015).
GRESB is the leading assessment system for measuring the sustainability performance of real estate funds. The evaluation of seven different aspects results in the GRESB score. This standardised score makes a significant contribution to transparency around sustainability in the real estate industry.
Initiatives and associations: we make an active contribution
Union Investment’s real estate experts are active in around 20 different sustainability organisations, working in areas such as the establishment of standards in the property sector. Here are some examples of our work in the field of sustainability.
The ZIA: Zentraler Immobilien Ausschuss (Central Property Committee) is Germany’s biggest and most influential real estate association. Union Investment has been a member since 2008 and is involved in various work groups.
BVI Bundesverband Investment und Asset Management is an association of investment companies founded in 1970 and is involved in the establishment of uniform standards. Union Investment has been an active member for many years.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (DGNB, German Sustainable Building Society) was founded in 2007 and is the biggest and most important sustainability organisation in the German property sector. Union Investment is one of its founding members.
The UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) are an investor initiative founded in 2006 and supported by the United Nations. They are aimed at responsible, sustainable investing. Union Investment has been a member since 2010.