Union Investment provides visibility into sustainability of its fund properties
Union Investment teamed up with atmosgrad° to develop “atmosphere”, a new sustainability label that allows tenants, investors and other market players to see the sustainability performance of a property at a glance. The label was developed in response to the requirements of the Paris Agreement and shows how much progress has been made towards making a property or entire portfolio climate neutral by 2050. In the initial phase however the label focuses on interim goals for 2030 first. The key performance indicator on the label is the result of an extensive property analysis which is repeated annually. The aim is to continue identifying areas where sustainability performance can be improved.
Criteria of the atmosphere label
The new key performance indicator is derived from a score based on three main areas of assessment. 40 per cent of the score relates to a building’s consumption and emissions values. This data is gathered annually and compared with target data for 2030 and 2050. A further 40 per cent comes from the results of Union Investment’s Sustainable Investment Check (SI Check). The SI Check was introduced in 2009 and most recently updated in 2018. It measures the sustainability of a property against seven criteria: building automation, resources, technology and building envelope, economy, user comfort, operation and location. The SI Check is also repeated annually. The remaining 20 per cent of the score relates to aspects of the fund strategy. These include the use of tenant exclusion criteria, green leases and sustainability certificates such as DGNB, LEED and BREEAM.
Jan von Mallinckrodt, Head of Sustainability at Union Investment Real Estate GmbH
Structural differences between retail, office, hotel and logistics properties are taken into account in the scoring process for the label.
“The ‘atmosphere’ label sets a new standard by enabling a property’s sustainability performance and its management within a portfolio to be captured as a key performance indicator. The label is also capable of reflecting future climate policy requirements. This makes it a useful tool for portfolio management with the potential to become an industry standard. Other companies are welcome to use the scoring system for their own property portfolios,” said Ralf F. Bode, managing partner at atmosgrad°.
Example: Office property in Cologne
Based on the new scoring system, the Holzmarkt 1 office property in Cologne for example achieves a “Managed to Green” level of 81 per cent. The 19,000 sq m building was acquired for UniImmo: Deutschland in 2015. The most notable sustainability features of the property include an energy-optimised perforated façade, green spaces on the roof and in the inner courtyard, disabled access to all floors and district heating.