Making our cities smarter
By investing in smarter cities, we’re living up to our purpose of “building communities and sustainable futures”.
Smart cities are not just about having the latest technology and digital know-how. It’s about reducing carbon emissions, helping create safe and social places to get together and live prosperous, happy lives, and making cities more resilient to future environmental, social and technological changes. That's why we are providing the capital to develop sustainable urban ecosystems to unlock the associated financial and social benefits. Investing in smart cities is a smart decision driven by our environmental, social and governance values and goals that underpin what we do and why we do it.
PUTTING ALL OUR ENERGY INTO SAVING ENERGY
Sustainability is at the heart of smart cities. Assets that are energy-efficient, low in greenhouse gas emissions and have a future proof design benefit tenants,our clients and us.
Our goal is to reach net zero carbon status across our corporate operations and real estate portfolio by 2040 at the latest.
Our business now incorporates both infrastructure investments and pure-play real estate. In fact, have established a smart city infrastructure strategy.
Our infrastructure team allows us to actively promote responsible capital allocations to support the estimated $14trn cost to fund the 2050 global energy transition agenda. We’re also working closely with our tenants to encourage more sustainable behaviour. We’re gradually rolling out best-in-class smart building technology to help tenants lower their energy bills and carbon emissions at the same time.
Building smarter cities
Building smarter cities doesn’t always mean more buildings. It’s mainly about using existing assets and infrastructure more efficiently and effectively. Addressing the carbon embodied in building materials and inherent in the building process is vital. After all, it amounts to 11% of global emissions. (Source)
We’re reimagining and repurposing Brussels’ landmark office building, The Louise, to meet the needs of a post-pandemic workforce.
We’re stripping down the facade and technical installations but maintaining the superstructure and concrete slab – saving around 8,500 tons of embodied carbon. This reduces the carbon footprint by 50%, compared to an average office build of the same size. We’re also recycling all materials where possible, saving a further 1,500 tons of carbon emissions. The project will also create 1,500 square metres of new green space. Smart systems will run all of The Louise’s mechanical, electrical, plumbing and security functions. This will reduce energy consumption to 90 kW sqm, compared to 200 kW sqm for average Belgian households.
Being smart about society
Shaping smart cities of the future is not just about the sustainability of buildings or the innovative use of technology. We think smart cities are inclusive places for the people and societies that inhabit them.
That’s why we’re committed to delivering sustainable communities. This is more than just improving the communities that live or work in one of our assets. Rather it’s about supporting and sustaining the broader community for the long term.
Investing in a smarter society
Our flagship open-ended pan-European residential strategy focuses on sustainable community creation.
All homes are within walking distance of amenities, such as, green spaces, kindergarten, schools, sports facilities and supermarkets.
The strategy is rolling out ESG initiatives that ensure landlords procure energy from 100% renewable sources. Smart metres are being rolled out across the whole portfolio and green lease clauses added to all new tenant leases.