Agnieszka Bulus-Trando talks to Jarosław Retmaniak, Country Manager Finance & Support Poland, Immofinanz
How does your company understand that the ESG trend is a win-win for everyone ?
We implement our activity for sustainable development through specific projects from the entire Immofinanz portfolio – i.e. in the office, commercial and residential sectors. We have already taken big steps in each of them – and the next ones are ahead of us. It is now a ‘must be’ – and it can be seen in each of the sectors of our activity. The key objective of the introduced solutions is the measurable reduction of negative impacts on the climate, which will allow for the rational use of resources and thus effective counteracting climate change and meeting the needs of future generations. Of course, this is also connected with the business aspect – that is, the question asked in the “win-win for all” question. It is a development strategy that already allows us to develop faster and build a stable position of the company in the long-term.
In our case, through virtual and physical activities building awareness, we influence loyalty, i.e. we ensure a high level of customer satisfaction and attract new ones – thus maintaining a high level of rent. This applies to the office and retail sectors as well. We assume that both our future employees, tenants and business partners will more and more often choose employers and buildings that meet the appropriate environmental conditions. I believe that success today and tomorrow largely depend on whether we implement it in a sustainable manner, respecting ecological aspects.
When it comes to the environmental aspects, it is obviously very important to optimize energy consumption. How do you deal with it in your company?
Activities aimed at optimizing the use of energy are important tasks for every company. At Immofinanz, we have been paying close attention not only to this, but to all aspects related to ESG, both in the office and retail sectors, and we have recently intensified our activities in the field of sustainable development. We have defined a broad program of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Immofinanz will also significantly increase its own production of renewable energy by installing photovoltaic devices on the roofs of STOP SHOP retail parks and equipping all newly created locations with such systems. Myhive office buildings and VIVO shopping centers! will be equipped with photovoltaic installations where possible, depending on the location. Such a solution is already in use at VIVO! Loom. As Immofinanz, we will also support our tenants in the process of transition to a sustainable operating model. Additionally, through our myhive brand we joined – as the first real estate company in Poland – into the second edition of the “Climate Leadership powered by UN Environment” program. Its goal is to build a community of business leaders who, being aware of the need for changes to save the global climate, see them as an opportunity for development. Working with the program’s external experts, we developed and then implemented solutions that measurably reduce the negative impact on the climate. These are 20 different projects in 9 eco categories, including circular economy, biologically active surfaces, but also transport and awareness of 17,000 people who are part of the myhive community. The list of our initiatives is long and it is difficult to list them all here. It includes, among others, creating shared mobility zones with parking lots for bicycles, electric scooters and hybrid cars, a free bicycle system for tenants, or a number of sports activities and eco workshops – such as zero waste. From the technical side, we have implemented a self-sufficient photovoltaic energy – a green charger that provides charging for small electrical devices such as telephones, tablets, in one of our complexes. We are equally active in the commercial sector. In four Polish VIVO! Shopping centers owned by Immofinanz! We conduct a number of activities in the field of energy use optimization – they are tailored to the specificity of a given center. We replaced LED lighting everywhere, thus saving 30% of energy. All VIVO! have BREEAM certificates. They confirm that thanks to the implemented solutions, VIVO! are environmentally friendly places and operate in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
The second important aspect is the matter of saving water and its conscious management. Can you boast of any solutions in this topic?
Immofinanz, among the tasks related to sustainable development, has set itself the goal of reducing the amount of water consumption. We have made a decision to install water-saving fittings in the entire real estate portfolio in Poland, and to integrate rainwater utilization systems in all new projects. A biodiversity enhancement program has also been established, including the design of green spaces on Immofinanz properties to support the local ecosystem where no pesticides will be used to maintain the green spaces. At the moment, in our facilities, we collect rainwater from the roof, which is stored in underground tanks, and then we use it to water the greenery. When it comes to saving water – from the technical point of view – we have implemented 30% water savings in toilets in our shopping centers, by installing automatic feeders and aerators in taps, we care for rational use of water, reducing its consumption per tap by up to 3 liters per day.