Sustainable Real Estate

A sustainable real estate investment approach is an opportunity long recognised by Sonae Sierra. In fact, in recent years we have carried out several infrastructure investments that have improved our properties’ efficiency and sustainability, to increase satisfaction levels for both tenants and visitors alike.

Along the way, we have acquired new insights and expertise that are now an integral part of the services our teams provide within sustainable real estate, which help our clients optimise their resources, devise a climate change strategy, and acquire proper building certification.

We know as a fact that an investment in sustainable real estate can reduce consumption costs. We also know that energy alone can represent a fifth of the total services charges, that external factors such as climate variation or external events like a pandemic have an impact on savings, or that without an investment in sustainable actions, owners will end up losing about 4% in rents, if deciding not to increase tenants’ service charges in order to maintain affordability rates.

How are these facts? In order to develop our own sustainable real estate strategy and practices, we continuously produce studies and reports that guide us, as well as our partners and clients.

That is also the reason why in 2020, Sonae Sierra was able to avoid over €15.1 million in costs, from eco-efficiency improvements in energy, water, and waste. It is also our own proven experience that ensures the right advice in sustainable real estate strategies.

Our sustainable real estate services will help our clients raise the sustainability profiles of their assets and development projects, as well as guaranteeing high-level returns when investing in a sustainable real estate strategy. We will share our experience and know-how with clients in line with their interests.

Green Building Certification

In sustainable real estate, a green building certification not only creates value for the asset but it can also offer unique experiences to its inhabitants, by providing a sense of responsibility towards people and the environment.

When devising a green building certification strategy, our sustainable real estate teams help our clients achieve green building certifications such as BREEAM or LEED during the development phase, achieve healthy building certifications like WELL at the operational phase, in addition to achieving safety, health, and environmental management system certifications in accordance with OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001, in all phases of the project.

Because every country and region has its own natural climate conditions, exclusive cultures and/or traditions, and different development priorities (be it economic, social, and/or environmental), sustainable real estate varies from country to country.

As such, the approach and process to achieve a Green Building Certification – and therefore enhance our client’s green credentials to suit the standards of investors – may vary from place to place.

Green Building Certification – the case for BREEAM 

BREEAM is a green building rating and benchmarking system that gives building owners the ability to demonstrate their sustainability commitments.

The standards differ for separate property uses (retail, residential, office, etc.) as well as the different lifecycle stages. It is one of the world’s leading assessment methods for planning projects, infrastructure, and buildings.

Among stakeholders, acquiring a BREEAM certificate helps distinguish the project by benefitting from the associated external image, as well as improving eco-efficiency.

Wellbeing Certification

Our teams ensure that risks towards people, assets, and ecosystems are minimised. Wellbeing Certification is based on scientific literature and studies that have an effect on fields such as environmental health, social behaviour, or demographics.

When obtaining a building permit or an urban planning assessment for your project, sustainable real estate development recommends developers to also study the possibility of obtaining a Wellbeing Certification.

Wellbeing Certification measures the impact of the real estate asset on the occupant’s health by looking at different areas such as air, comfort, light, or even mind. Although it might be easier to obtain it by thinking ahead, an existing asset can also receive a Wellbeing Certification, by complying or optimising its features.

ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 certifications

The ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 are the world’s most highly recognized framework for safety, health, and environmental management systems. Respectively, the ISO 14001 certifies an organisation to enhance its environmental management and performance, while the ISO 45001 is the international standard for health and safety occupation.

Construction projects which implement proper safety, health, and environmental practices, increasingly improve its relationship with the community and minimize negative impacts such as noises or emissions during the construction phase.

With an ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 certified safety, health, and environmental system in place, market competitiveness is guaranteed, especially in the fields of health, safety, eco-efficiency, and public image.

Safety, health, and environment management system

Safety, health, and environment management systems enable our teams to identify, correct, and prevent all potential risks in every stage of the building asset’s life cycle as well as our corporate activities.

The benefits of implementing such systems help our clients not only improve internal their organisation, but also reduce costs (through efficiencies such as energy and water consumption reduction or waste management costs), and reduce or eliminate workplace hazards.

Our management systems are built upon internationally recognised standards, which guarantee compliance with legal requirements. This ensures Sonae Sierra is continuously improving safety, health, and environmental efficiency.

Our teams help our clients manage people and physical asset risks and upgrade the operational management of the asset, as well as reducing its environmental impacts and improve eco-efficiency, resulting in a true sustainable real estate model.

Resource Optimization

Our teams benchmark energy and water consumption, devise efficiency strategies and programmes, design and implement management systems that address operation control and develop a waste management plan to achieve proper development management systems.

A sustainable real estate approach allows our clients to upgrade a poorly performing asset and achieve resource optimisation.

Climate change strategy

The real estate sector has a serious impact on climate change, still contributing to the crisis. Both tenants and users alike are increasingly demanding safe and more efficient buildings, i.e. sustainable real estate and NZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Buildings) – a concept in need of promotion, which refers to buildings with significant energy-saving features, where the energy comes from on-site or nearby renewable energy production systems.

Ours is an industry in need of mobilisations towards understanding, measuring, analysing, and managing not only the risks but also the opportunities we may find when facing climate change.

At Sonae Sierra, we believe in resilience as a core business strategy for sustainable real estate, according to the best practices for reducing carbon emissions and energy efficiency.

That is why, when providing a climate change strategy for our clients, our teams can develop a strategy towards the implementation of a net-zero energy building, as well as assessing and develop a carbon footprint optimisation plan.

Would you like to find out more about Sustainable Real Estate?

Contact us, our team is happy to help you!