35% of global energy consumption is due to construction and the use of buildings. This equates to 40% of CO2 emissions. Mindful of managers’ responsibility to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint, the real- estate investment management company Redevco has set up its ‘Mission 2040’.
Text: Diane Theunissen
‘Mission 2040’, an ambitious and necessary project
Redevco aims to create welcoming, dynamic and sustainable urban real- estate environments. “We ensure that each time we acquire, optimise or develop a building, we seize opportunities for proactive asset management. We do this taking into account the potential impact of reducing energy consumption and the corresponding CO2 emissions,” explains Clemens Brenninkmeijer, Head of Sustainability. With this in mind, in 2019 the company launched its ‘Mission 2040’, making a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. “The scientists are very clear: we have to decarbonise, and quickly,” Clemens Brenninkmeijer adds. By contributing to sustainable development, companies like Redevco increase their chances of attracting potential investors: before they consider financing a project, the funds require either that real estate assets are already sustainable, or that a sound sustainability plan is put in place.
‘Mission 2040’ is based on two essential strategies. First of all, it is vital to optimise energy consumption by ensuring that buildings are fully insulated and having a direct cooperation with the occupants: “The energy level (good insulation, airtightness) of our buildings is a very important matter that the occupants need to take into consideration when choosing their installations,” explains Nele Schelfhout, Head of Project Management. Secondly, the corresponding carbon footprint has to be reduced by opting for materials that can be dismantled and recycled, with a reduced CO2 level. The Waterloo RICH’L redevelopment project in Belgium integrates these various parameters. The buildings on the long established retail complex, feature good, hermetic insulation and a green roof that makes cooling spaces easier, as well as solar panels that supply tenants with green electricity. “When it comes to sustainability, there must not be any limits: we need to leave the beaten track, experiment and learn lessons,” Nele Schelfhout concludes.