Skip to website navigation Skip to article navigation Skip to content

A page refresh occures when a subject is selected.

Skip article navigation.

Corporate Sustainability and Social Responsibility

General

Vesteda sees Corporate Sustainability and Social Responsibility (CSSR) as vitally important for the long-term value development of our portfolio, our organisation as a whole and the society in which we operate. We believe that our efforts in the field of CSSR improve and strengthen Vesteda, both directly and indirectly, that they result in future-proof returns on our investments, and that they help us to create value for all our stakeholders. Our CSSR targets are an integral part of our Business Plan and are therefore firmly embedded in our business operations. Our sustainability programme manager is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of our CSSR policies.

To shape our CSSR strategy, we use the three pillars of the ESG model: Environmental, Social and Governance. We have defined five strategic projects in the context of these pillars: Reduce resource consumption of tenants and common areas, Portfolio Sustainability Improvements, Engage Stakeholders, Implement Health & Well-being and Achieve a GRESB five-star rating.

Environmental – Improve sustainable performance

As a fund, we seek to constantly improve our performance in the field of sustainability. We believe that this helps us safeguard the attractiveness of the fund and optimise our long-term risk return ratio. Our objective is to reduce our consumption of energy and water, and cut CO2 emissions as much as possible. We also aim to use materials that have no harmful effect on the environment, and we want to work with business partners who share our own high standards in terms of sustainability.

Strategic project: portfolio sustainability improvement

In 2015, Vesteda’s participants approved a plan to improve the energy performance of Vesteda’s buildings. Our ambition for the future is to have green energy labels (A, B or C) for 99% of our portfolio by 2024. The technical state of city centre buildings and historical buildings, as well as local government regulations, make it nearly impossible to achieve 100% green labels by 2024.

In 2020, we invested €6.8 million and improved the energy performance of at least 2,756 residential units. Since 2016, we have invested a total of €27.4 million on energy performance measures.

  • The percentage of homes in our portfolio with a green energy label (A, B, or C) increased to 91.1% in 2020, from 87.8% in the prior year.

  • The percentage of homes with an D label declined to 4.3%, from 6.7% the previous year.

  • The percentage of homes with an E label or lower class label declined to 4.6%, from 5.5% the previous year.

Portfolio Strategy is responsible for the progress in and monitoring of our energy labels. The labels are updated according to energy-related measures and based on expiry dates (10 years). An overview is provided each quarter and reported to the Operations department. These reports are used to monitor the progress made during the quarter and enable us to assess whether the progress made is in line with our targets for the year.

Vesteda continues to invest in the improvement in the energy labels of the homes in our portfolio that do not yet meet our energy performance target. The ambitious package of improvements includes building insulation, the replacement of installations with energy-efficient variants and the generation of sustainable energy through the placement of solar panels. We aim to realise the improvements on a building-by-building basis and in phases through 2024.

Energy labels development 2016-2020 (%)

Overview of energy performance measures

In 2020, Vesteda introduced the following measures to improve the energy performance of the homes in our portfolio:

Measure (number of properties, unless otherwise stated)

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

High efficiency boilers

781

509

822

1,010

1,564

DC ventilators

609

19

1,670

481

731

High efficiency glazing

507

662

442

891

439

Roof insulation

201

141

24

-

273

Cavity-wall insulation

324

-

318

64

87

Under-floor insulation

289

-

92

23

21

LED lighting (complexes)

11

9

13

5

2

Solar panels (complexes)

10

19

2

2

3

In 2020, Vesteda installed 2,531 solar panels in a total of 10 complexes. At year-end 2020, Vesteda had installed a total of 11,125 solar panels in its portfolio, generating approximately 2.7 million kWh annually.

Healthy and safe homes

Our aim is to provide our tenants with safe and healthy homes. A safe and healthy home is just as important as a pleasant home and living environment. This implies that our homes are free of high-risk asbestos, that central heating boilers are checked regularly, lifts are checked regularly, that combined heat and power installations are provided with new filters if necessary. In addition to this, Vesteda has drawn up risk maps for every residential building. Although these measures are of a more technical nature, their impact can have a positive impact on the lives and well-being of our tenants. We also try to educate tenants, for example on how they can prevent legionella or how they can prevent burglaries. To ensure the health and safety of our homes as effectively as possible, we have taken a number of precautionary measures that are monitored or executed by our Operations department. These measures are described below.

Asbestos

Up until 1994, the use of materials containing asbestos was common in the construction industry. Despite the fact that there is no legal obligation for asbestos-related inspections, beyond roofs and in the event of any plans for demolition or renovation work, Vesteda has conducted asbestos inspections at all complexes in its portfolio. If any asbestos or any signs of asbestos were found during these inspections, Vesteda took appropriate action, including clean-ups and providing information for tenants and third parties.

Asbestos inspections

(% of total complexes)

Status at year-end 2020

Status at year-end 2019

No inspection necessary based on construction year

47%

40%

Inspected

53%

52%

To be inspected

0%

8%

Central heating installations

We see timely maintenance as highly important, also from a preventive point of view, to ensure that all our individual central heating installations work properly and are safe. We aim to inspect all central heating installations once every two years. For open combustion devices, we aim for an inspection every 18 months.

In 2020, we contracted new inspection partners, replacing one underperforming partner, and improved the quality and efficiency of the inspections. Over the course of two years, 65% of the central heating systems where inspected.

Combined heat and power installations

The same applies to combined heat and power installations. Here, too, we set our own goal to inspect the installations every two years and place new filters, if this is necessary. In 2020, 52% of the installations were inspected. The remaining installations will be inspected in 2021.

Lifts

Legislation stipulates that lifts must be inspected and certified once every 18 months. Vesteda has a contract with a certified lift inspection firm, which conducts periodic inspections and issues inspection reports. Since 2016, 376 lifts were approved of a total of 398 lifts. A total of 22 lifts were scheduled for re-inspection after the first inspection.

Vesteda engaged a Dutch specialist firm in the field of lift safety. This company tests the operation of the emergency audio connection in our lifts every three days. In 2020, 261 lifts with emergency audio connection units were inspected and tested.

Risk map

Vesteda uses an internal risk map to identify potential risks in our complexes. Each complex is assessed on the basis of this risk map at least once every three years. The subjects covered in this map include, presence of asbestos, concrete gallery floors, Manta and/or Kwaaitaal concrete floors, presence of lead water pipes, as well as fire safety. Based on new insights, components are added to the risk map to ensure that at portfolio level there is a comprehensive overview of risks in complexes and therefore inspections and maintenance can be carried out.

Fire safety

In 2020, Vesteda had a total of 94 complexes surveyed for fire safety by an organisation specialised in building safety and regulations. Out of the 94 complexes, four were Vesteda’s own regional offices. These four offices are excluded from the outcome of the survey. We incorporated the outcome of surveys in the maintenance plans and the maintenance budgets for those complexes. This survey was additional to Vesteda’s annual fire safety maintenance and checks. This includes annual visual inspections of fire extinguishing equipment, water pipes and emergency lighting. On top of this, we pressure test the dry risers every five years. In 2020, we carried out 96% of the planned fire safety maintenance and checks, compared with 83% in 2019.

Sustainability in the chain

Since 2016, we have asked all our largest suppliers to sign the IVBN sustainability declaration for suppliers. We use the term suppliers for parties that have a contract with our Operations department and that deliver goods and services that have an impact on one or more of our buildings. By signing the IVBN sustainability declaration, our suppliers endorse IVBN’s vision on sustainability and corporate social responsibility and declare that they will act in accordance with same.

In 2019, Vesteda’s decided to make the IVBN sustainability declaration an integral part of the tender process for new (master) service agreements. This led to a significant increase in the number of signed declarations. A total of 171 suppliers have so far signed the declaration. In 2020, a total of nine suppliers were added to this number. These suppliers represent 88% of the activities that our Operations department outsourced in 2020. Vesteda’s goal was to achieve a minimum of 87%.

Now that we have embedded the sustainability declaration in our processes, the next step will be to improve our influence and impact. A first step is the roll-out of a sustainability scan with questions on policies, targets and results. This will give us a sustainability score per supplier, which will enable us to start a constructive dialogue with suppliers to achieve improvements.

Physical climate risks

Due to the changing climate, we are faced with physical climate risks such as heat stress, frequent droughts, extreme rainfall and rising water levels. We have analysed our existing portfolio with regard to specific location risks and we will add specific building risks to these findings, to determine feasible measures we can apply to reduce heat stress and water stress at an asset level. On the acquisition front, we are already using our findings on location risks as part of the decision-making process.

Climate risks and impact on the Vesteda portfolio

CO2 footprint

Vesteda aims to reduce the CO2 emissions of the organisation. In 2020, the total CO footprint of our organisation was 604 tonnes of CO2, or 2,791 kg per FTE. This includes 5 of our 10 regional offices from which data is available. The carbon footprint of 2020 is a reduction of 13% per FTE compared to last year. Scope 1 with 82% accounts for the majority of the total emissions, compared to 6% scope 2 and 12% scope 3. COVID-19 has had impact on the CO footprint both negative but mostly positive. The reduction of the total travel movements declined due to COVID-19 which has a positive effect. However, the employees that did need to travel, to the office for instance, had to do it by car since this was not possible by public transport. This has a negative impact on the emissions.

CO2 emission per FTE

The CO2 generated by mobility still accounts for the majority of our total CO2 footprint. In 2020 we started to reduce the emissions from mobility by making our car fleet more sustainable. By choosing more sustainable cars, such as fully electric vehicles, the emissions can be reduced greatly. Where we started this policy at the second half of 2019 the percentage of fully electric cars in the car fleet increased from 9% at the end of 2019 to 32% at the end of 2020. The total CO2 emissions of our mobility was 16% lower compared to 2019. This is partly due to a more sustainable car fleet, but mostly due to reduced travel movements because of COVID-19. Employees are stimulated to choose a fully electric vehicle and are facilitated to make fully electric driving more practical applicable, i.e. installing charging stations at the home of employees. We will continue to create a more sustainable car fleet to maintain this reduction. The figure below shows the transport-related CO2 emissions between 2013 and 2020 per FTE.

Transport-related CO2 emissions per FTE

Circularity

Vesteda also aims to reduce the impact on materials and resources. With circularity the goal is to (re-)use products and materials endlessly. To start reducing our impact on the use of materials and resources we need to gain insight in our current performance. Similar as carbon footprint we asked a third party to calculate the circular footprint of our organisation. The purpose of determining the footprint is to measure which virgin materials are added to the cycle and which materials are destroyed and thus leave the cycle. In a circular footprint all materials in the building are assessed, including which materials are used and how much waste this creates. Looking at these three incoming and outgoing flows gives us insight in possible ways to improve the circularity of materials.

In terms of procurement, Vesteda is already using as much circular cleaning materials as possible and we also use more and more re-used office furniture. The biggest volume of used materials and resources is in the categories waste and energy. The energy is used to heat and electrify our office. With the renovation of our main office in 2017 we made great progress in the reduction of energy and therefore resource demand. The remaining energy demand for electricity is from renewable resources which has a positive impact on circularity. For natural gas this is not possible. In the future we want to research the possibilities to disconnect from the natural gas grid towards a more sustainable and circular heat source for the main office building.

The first assessment of the circular footprint gives Vesteda insight in the performance of the organisation. Although we are pleased with the initial outcome of our circular performance, we also saw potential to improve. The footprint gives a better understanding on how to look at circularity within organisational processes. In 2021, we want to look for ways to incorporate circularity in our procurement and to create a policy and monitoring on the disposal of office furnishing.

Measuring and managing resource consumption

Our goal is to manage and reduce our use of resources (energy, water) and to reduce the production of greenhouse gases. We aim to structurally reduce the energy consumption in our investment portfolio. We started this project in 2016, when the focus was initially on common areas. Due to collaboration with grid operators it is now possible to also measure the energy consumption of our tenants. This year, for the first time we can report this data in our annual report.

Common areas

In 2020, our electricity use for common areas decreased with 8.4% and gas consumption with 5.4%. We also increased the portfolio’s green electricity with European wind energy to 88% of the portfolio. The remaining non-sustainable energy have existing energy contracts that cannot be changed to sustainable energy yet or are operated by residents associations where we have no influence on the type of energy purchased. Since not all utility providers have finalised their annual statements yet, the coverage in 2020 is lower than 2019.

In like-for-like, the consumption is compared for areas for which the consumption is available for 12 months in 2019 and 2020. The square meters of the common areas are calculated based on a representative sample in which we measured that the actual common area square meters on average represent approximately 22% of a complex. 

 

Absolute

Like-for-like

Common areas

2020

2019

2020

2019

Key figures

    

Portfolio’s green electricity (%)

88%

64%

87%

87%

Portfolio’s green gas (%)

99%

99%

99%

99%

     

Energy consumption

    

Consumption from electricity (kWh)

7,808,159

11,012,562

7,089,468

7,789,077

Consumption from gas (m3)

64,503

44,300

35,558

37,604

     

Greenhouse gas emissions

    

Total indirect emissions (metric tonnes CO2, Elektra) - Gross

3,709

4,548

3,367

3,217

Total direct emissions (metric tonnes CO2, Gas) - Gross

122

84

67

71

Total indirect emissions (metric tonnes CO2, Elektra) - Net

451

1,628

450

416

Total direct emissions (metric tonnes CO2, Gas) - Net

122

84

67

71

     

Water

    

Total water usage (m3)

4,285

42,648

3,805

4,153

     

Coverage sqm

    

Coverage % electricity - based on sqm

74%

84%

66%

Coverage % gas - based on sqm

65%

56%

53%

Coverage % water - based on sqm

44%

71%

44%

Tenants

In 2020, the tenant consumption decreased with 5.2% for electricity and 2.9% for gas. In like-for-like the consumption is compared for areas for which the consumption is available for 12 months in 2019 and 2020. Data available for 8 months or more is extrapolated and included for 12 months in the overview. The decrease in consumption is due to sustainable renovations and because our tenants use their homes more energy efficient. 

Consumption data of the common areas and tenants is derived from telemetric meters, invoices, manual visual readings and (for the majority of tenant consumption) from the energy grid operator. The coverage is based on the square meters where consumption is available for at least 8 months.

 

Absolute

Like-for-like

Tenants

2020

2019

2020

2019

Key figures

    

We calculate the green electricity from tenants according to the Dutch average:

70%

70%

70%

70%

     

Energy consumption

    

Consumption from electricity (kWh)

67,328,355

70,734,571

67,038,462

70,734,571

Consumption from gas (m3)

21,842,546

22,923,577

21,807,581

22,456,905

Consumption from district heating (GJ)

0

45,341

0

0

     

Greenhouse gas emissions

    

Total indirect emissions (metric tonnes CO2, Elektra) - Gross

31,981

29,213

31,843

29,213

Total direct emissions (metric tonnes CO2, Gas) - Gross

41,151

43,326

41,085

42,444

Total indirect emissions (metric tonnes CO2, Elektra) - Net

26,768

24,452

26,653

24,452

Total direct emissions (metric tonnes CO2, Gas) - Net

41,151

43,326

41,085

42,444

     

Water

    

Total water usage (m3)

51,800

1,556,619

51,799

62,418

     

Coverage sqm

    

Coverage % electricity - based on sqm LFA

100%

100%

100%

Coverage % gas - based on sqm LFA

97%

98%

97%

Coverage % water - based on sqm LFA

2%

58%

2%

Coverage % district heating - based on sqm LFA

0%

26%

0%

Total

The total energy consumption of our total portfolio including intensity measures was as followed.

 

Absolute

Like-for-like

Total

2020

2019

2020

2019

Key figures

    

Portfolio's green electricity (%)

72%

69%

72%

72%

Portfolio's green gas (%)

6%

6%

6%

6%

     

Energy consumption

    

Consumption from electricity (kWh)

75,136,514

81,747,133

74,127,930

78,523,648

Consumption from gas (m3)

21,907,050

22,967,877

21,843,140

22,494,509

Consumption from district heating (GJ)

0

45,341

0

0

     

Greenhouse gas emissions

    

Total indirect emissions (metric tonnes CO2, Elektra) - Gross

35,690

33,762

35,211

32,430

Total direct emissions (metric tonnes CO2, Gas) - Gross

41,273

43,409

41,152

42,515

Total indirect emissions (metric tonnes CO2, Elektra) - Net

27,219

26,080

27,103

24,868

Total direct emissions (metric tonnes CO2, Gas) - Net

41,273

43,409

41,152

42,515

     

Water

    

Total water usage (m3)

56,085

1,599,267

55,604

66,571

     

Solar energy

    

Generation solar energy (kWh)

2,665,374

1,756,498

  

Besides reduction in energy consumption the generation of solar energy increased. In 2021, Vesteda will try to increase the annual generation of solar panels by looking for ways to install more solar panels on single-family homes.

Intensity performance indicators

 

Absolute

Like-for-like

 

2020

2019

2020

2019

Intensity from buildings per sqm - common areas

    

Electricity intensity (kWh/year/sqm)

27.29

34.89

27.28

29.97

Gas intensity (m3/year/sqm)

2.91

1.92

1.88

1.99

Green House Gas emissions intensity (kg CO2/year/sqm) - Gross

0.0124

0.0137

0.0123

0.0118

Green House Gas emissions intensity (kg CO2/year/sqm) - Net

0.0019

0.0051

0.0019

0.0017

Water intensity (m3/year)

0.04

0.28

0.04

0.04

     

Intensity from buildings per sqm - tenants

    

Electricity intensity (kWh/year/sqm)

24.16

25.46

24.13

25.46

Gas intensity (m3/year/sqm)

10.63

11.00

10.62

10.94

Green House Gas emissions intensity (kg CO2/year/sqm) - Gross

15.10

14.92

15.09

14.83

Green House Gas emissions intensity (kg CO2/year/sqm) - Net

14.03

13.94

14.02

13.85

Water intensity (m3/year)

0.93

0.97

1.06

1.28

     

Intensity from buildings - per tenants

    

Electricity intensity (kWh/year)

1,308.06

1,423.14

1,290.50

1,367.02

Gas intensity (m3/year)

381.38

399.85

380.27

391.61

Water intensity (m3/year)

0.98

27.84

0.97

1.16

Paris Agreement

We are committed to the Paris Agreement, and in 2030 we want to reduce our Carbon footprint by 49%, and in 2050 by 95% in comparison to 1990. Our investments in sustainability, by using the 'Trias Energetica principle' and first reducing the energy demand of our homes, a more sustainable use, and taking sustainability into account in our acquisition policy have already lead to a carbon reduction of approximately 35%. With our remaining investment programme we are well on our way to meet the 2030 target by 2024.

kWh/sqm development Vesteda portfolio

Social - Engaged stakeholders and a socially engaged organisation

We believe it is important to engage in sustainable relationships with our tenants, our participants and our other stakeholders. We communicate openly and transparently about our activities in the field of CSSR and consider it a part of our social responsibility to encourage and increase the awareness, engagement and responsibility of both our employees and our other stakeholders in the field of sustainability. In addition, as a fund we want to contribute to society in general and to the neighbourhoods where our properties are located in particular.

Strategic project: stakeholder engagement

In 2020, we launched various initiatives with and for our stakeholders:

  • We are JINC partner and we help young adults to prepare for and start their working life by giving job application training.

  • We started a pilot to improve the entrances to our complexes, by improving the overall quality and stimulating communities within complexes.

  • In 2020, a graduate student researched the possibility of Vesteda successfully involving tenants in creating more sustainable homes and reducing carbon emissions.

Strategic project: health & well-being

Our aim is to have a positive impact on the health and well-being of our tenants and employees. As part of our efforts on this front, last year we launched a number of initiatives:

  • In 2020, we introduced a personal vitality budget for employees. Employees can use this budget to improve or maintain their healthy lifestyle and personal development.

  • Together with our partner, the Dutch Society of the protection of Birds (Vogelbescherming), we are looking at how we can improve the biodiversity within new acquisitions and renovations by installing bird and insect houses to increase the biodiversity in and around our complexes.

  • We included questions about the happiness and well-being of our tenants in our annual tenant survey. We want to know our tenants’ concerns and what we can do to improve the situation.

Governance - Responsible business and transparent organisation

Our aim is to act and be perceived as a sustainable investment by our participants. We are open and transparent about our progress on our sustainability targets, and we strive to meet the highest possible standards in reporting on CSSR-related activities.

Our impact on the Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), defining global sustainable development priorities and aspirations for 2030. This common set of 17 goals and 169 sub-targets calls for worldwide action from governments, business and civil society to end poverty, ensure prosperity for all, and protect the planet. Vesteda has decided to embrace the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

We conducted an analysis to determine which of the SDGs are the most relevant to our activities, based on what we do and our ambitions. We consider the SDGs affordable and clean energy (7), sustainable cities (11) and Responsible consumption and production (12) the most relevant to our activities. In 2020 we incorporated these SDGs in our CSSR goals for the future.

SDGs along our value chain

We have mapped our SDG actions along our value chain.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

Since 2015, Vesteda has used the GRI-G4 standards to report on its CSSR policy in its annual report. In 2020, Vesteda once again reported on the basis of GRI Standards. For more information, please see the About this report section of this report.

GRESB

Since 2010, the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) has provided a tool to compare the sustainability of property investment funds. The GRESB survey is designed to identify the sustainability performance of the real estate sector and is now a widely-recognised and well-respected initiative. The environmental benchmark rates environmental management practices and their implementation, making it possible to compare the ratings of different real estate investments with both their national peer group and the GRESB global average. Vesteda has been a part of the benchmark since its inception. Vesteda believes that GRESB is helping to increase transparency in terms of the sustainability of real estate funds. To contribute to the continued evolution of the benchmark, Vesteda joined GRESB as a member in 2013.

In 2020, Vesteda was awarded five out of five stars and remained part of the global top 20% for its sustainability performance for the third year in a row. Vesteda was ranked third out of nine in 2020, compared with third out of 16 in 2019. Vesteda is committed to remaining a top player in the field of sustainability at a national level.

ESG breakdown GRESB 2020
 

Vesteda

Peer group

GRESB average

Max score

Environment

52

49

38

62

Social

18

18

15

19

Governance

19

19

17

20

Overall

88

86

70

100

GRESB score 2020