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Corporate Social Responsibility

Sustainable partnerships

Cooperation and engagement with our tenants and other stakeholders is an essential part of our sustainability strategy. We firmly believe that we can achieve the most by working with all our clients and other stakeholders, sharing ideas and devising innovative solutions to the challenges we all face.

Tenant engagement

The Office Fund conducts an annual tenant satisfaction survey, which provides insight into the satisfaction of tenants and highlights potential improvements. The overall score was 7.3 in 2016 (2015: 6.9).

Additional actions to improve the participation of tenants, such as personal reminders, have led to an increase of the response in 2016 compared to 2015. A higher reponse is also a result of new and committed tenants of Nieuwe Vaart in Utrecht. Tenants of smaller office units have again showed the lowest participation. The response would be 48% if this survey would  exclude tenants of units < 100 m2. Almost all scores for both asset and management sections have increased on a portfolio level. Scores for WTC Rotterdam especially increased for the management. Higher future grades on the asset section are expected based on prepared investments. As in every year, an action plan shall be developed with the property managers to improve results. Some lower scores are related to single tenant assets. These require a personal approach to clients in any case to set targeted improvements.

Following the launch of so-called ‘green leases’ in 2013, the Fund continued to incorporate sustainability clauses in lease proposals in 2016. The aim of these leases is to increase and enhance the information exchange between Bouwinvest and its tenants with the aim of improving environmental performance. In 2016, the Fund prepared several green leases to sign in 2017.

Sustainable partnerships: Nieuwe Vaart CSR cluster

The Nieuwe Vaart case is a perfect example of creating value by cooperating with tenants. The Office Fund worked very closely with fair trade organisation Max Havelaar and micro-credit provider Oikocredit on the renovation and refitting of the Arthur van Schendelstraat 550 office building in Utrecht, now renamed Nieuwe Vaart, with the aim of creating truly sustainable office suites. Max Havelaar and Oikocredit wanted their office to be a clear extension of the culture, working environment and identity. Thanks to a major upgrade and refit, which included the installation of 487 solar panels, a wide range of energy efficiency measures and the use of sustainable materials for the renovation, the Fund has obtained a BREAAM-NL In-Use certificate ‘GOOD’ score for this asset.

Following the upgrade, Bouwinvest joined forces with Max Havelaar and Oikocredit to attract organisations in the non-profit sector. A joint presentation to like-minded organisations on the goals of this new CSR cluster in a truly sustainable building with shared facilities, generated a great deal of enthusiasm. This led to a number of new leases. After delivery of spaces to Dutch CSR sector organization MVO Nederland, the 11,000-m² building is now fully let. The Office Fund also signed a Letter of Intent with restaurant operator The Colour Kitchen for shared company canteen facilities. The Colour Kitchen offers training and employment opportunities to people with disabilities, making it a perfect match for the Nieuwe Vaart CSR cluster.

Managing the supply chain

Bouwinvest has Service Level Agreements with its property managers, who are assessed each quarter on topics related to administrative management, technical management (including sustainability), commercial management and tenant satisfaction.

The Office Fund applies ‘Bewuste Bouwers’ criteria to all new-build projects and redevelopments. These criteria ensure that the contractor deals with the concerns of local residents, and addresses safety and environmental issues during the construction phase.

To promote and increase sustainable procurement we launched a project with IVBN (Association of Institutional Property Investors in the Netherlands) and a number of fellow fund managers to engage and assess the Fund’s suppliers using a sustainability web tool. Current and future suppliers will be assessed on their sustainable commitments, policies and behaviour.

Partnerships with local government agencies

The Olympic 1931 and 1962 in Amsterdam

These two former Citroën buildings, designed by Dutch architect Jan Wils, once housed the Citroën head office. In 2016, the buildings we’re renamed The Olympic 1931 and The Olympic 1962 (in reference to the years in which they were built). The two buildings are in a very culturally significant location, right next door to the city’s 1928 Olympic Stadium at the southern entry to Amsterdam, the Stadionplein. In 2016, Bouwinvest unveiled a plan to upgrade these iconic buildings as part of the development of the area around the Olympic Stadium, under the name The Olympic Amsterdam, with the aim of making it one of the capital city’s top locations for living, working and leisure activities.

At the same time, Bouwinvest took the initiative to draw up a document outlining our ambitions, which will form the basis for our continued cooperation with the Amsterdam city council and other stakeholders in efforts to improve the public spaces around the buildings. Suitable events and amenities, together with an area promotion, will ultimately contribute to making the area more attractive and increase familiarity with the name: ‘The Olympic Amsterdam’. The launch of this process was accompanied by a large-scale media event, marking both the launch of the new names and the announcement of the upgrade plans.

This project will add the final touch to the total development of Amsterdam’s Stadionplein, giving the southern entry to the city the cachet it deserves. This acquisition is fully in line with the Bouwinvest Office Fund strategy, with its focus on multi-functional and easy accessible A-locations.

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