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The E of ESG in logistic real estate

Last Wednesday, we were guests at HPP's "Connect & Innovation about the E of ESG" event. From the three asset classes residential, office & logistics, insights were shared on how the E of ESG matters in their respective business. From the office business, Peter Sagius of EDGE attended with an inspiring story in which they set the ambitious goal of building all of their new developments 'Net Zero'. Marcel de Ruiter of developer VanWonen used confrontational facts to underline the importance of an accelerated transition to sustainable housing construction. And, last but not least, Niels Baartman from intospace® shared our views on the future of logistics real estate. He talked about transforming the current challenges in the market into opportunities in terms of circularity, sustainability and off-grid energy solutions and thus setting a new standard for future logistics real estate.

As we have said before, the logistic real estate market is in turbulent times. Trends such as energy problems, the ‘verdozing discussion’, high construction costs and real estate write-downs have a direct impact on our business. As a progressive company, we like to turn these challenges into opportunities. Within intospace® we focus, among other things, on 4 areas where the E of ESG clearly emerges: sustainability, landscape, biodiversity and land use. Within these domains there are countless opportunities to make a positive impact on our environment through logistics real estate. In terms of sustainability for example: Last year we built a pioneering off-grid distribution center completed in Hoofddorp. Completely self-sufficient and at the same time also connected to the energy collective at Amsterdam Schiphol Trade Park. Here, companies exchange power with each other, based on their live needs.

In addition to sustainability when the building is in use, we also focus on sustainability during the construction process. We are currently preparing to “harvest” an old distribution center and immediately “plant” materials in a city logistics campus near Amsterdam, CLIC. One of the biggest benefits in terms of sustainability can be achieved by recycling concrete. Concrete is responsible for 10% of our global CO2 emissions. That is more than all transport movements combined. By grinding the existing concrete and pouring it again at our own projects, we therefore have a serious impact.

We are also working on sustainable land use. For example, we look at mixed-use logistic developments where living, recreation and logistics are combined. In this way we make optimal use of the available space, while at the same time creating added value for the local environment. To create more exciting, but above all more pleasant living environments.

It was an inspiring and interesting evening during the Holland Property Plaza Event. It is striking how much overlap there is between the different asset classes. Topics such as mixed use, circular construction and liveable environments are high on the list. Let’s all set ambitious goals together to push each other to new heights.