Generali Real Estate focuses on buying and/or developing certified buildings – including but not limited to BREEAM, LEED, HQE and DGNB - to increase the share of certified buildings in the portfolio.
All new investments must undergo a sustainability in house assessment, in order to ensure the acquisition of assets with high sustainability certifications, to increase the portfolio credentials through certification and/or assessment. For this purpose, Generali Real Estate developed and implemented an own assessment tool, related to the BREEAM® In Use scheme. This provides Generali Real Estate the possibility to have a comprehensive view on ESG quality and shows a forecast on certification opportunities. The report is part of the decision-making memorandum for new acquisitions.
The Tour Saint-Gobain is a development project which achieved all the four main international environmental certifications at the highest levels.
As a testimony of this environmentally centric approach, the Tour, recently completed in La Défense and hosting the new global headquarters of Saint-Gobain, has recently achieved all the four main international environmental certifications with the highest marks in the scale.
Tour Saint-Gobain is the first, and so far the only, building in France having achieved top marks in environmental recognitions: HQE Niveau “Exceptionnel” on all the four themes Environment, Comfort, Health and Energy, High Energy Performance Label Effinergie +, LEED Platinum certification and BREEAM International (New Construction) Outstanding.
These achievements are a concrete sign of the Generali commitment to actively contribute to set new sustainability benchmarks for the real estate sector and to reduce the environmental footprint of its properties portfolio across Europe.
In 2020 GRE acquired the Spain’s largest ( 200.000 sqm) and sustainable shopping resort which is LEED Gold certified, Puerto Venecia.
Since opening, this Mall has a very strong ESG strategy with particular emphasis and governance in place on the Environmental and Social elements. In fact a specific energy optimization system is in place and PV has an “A” energy stamp as it uses 100% renewable supply. It also promotes sustainable mobility by ensuring that onsite facilities are available and sustainable transport in order to save CO2 emissions and contribute to environment: electric skate charging parking, carsharing promoting.
There is a solidarity space, free for NGOs to carry out their charitable causes and local community importance is shown by supporting suppliers which are based on our catchment area being local development key in the decision to select the supplier. In 2021 the obtaining of the BREEAM In Use certificate and the Zero Carbon Footprint stamp are ongoing.
Sustainability assessment is an integral part of the decision-making process for new investments at Generali Real Estate since years because it allows us to ensure the portfolio increasing by doing sustainable investments.
Next to acquisitions, this in house-assessment was done to verify the potential of the existing building portfolio for future certifications. We just launched the GREsa, our new in-house sustainability assessment, which updates and enhances the former Sustainability Due Diligence (SDD) tool and is based on the most recent BREEAM in use scheme. With this easy-to-use tool, containing a questionnaire about the main criteria, such as Health and wellbeing, building energy performance and technical equipment’s, pollution exposure risks, Generali Real Estate analyses the sustainability status and the potential improvements.
In 2020 assets with a market value of € 6.6 bln were assessed, about 25% of the AUM in scope. (Desyre sources).
Generali Real Estate, in the constant view of an increasing attention to the environment, has taken an important step to measure the buildings' consumption and CO² emission in order to optimize it, lowering the operating costs and creating a better CO² footprint.
Several studies show that increasing efficiency in buildings represents the greatest opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
Using a data analysis algorithm, i.e. HVAC systems' energy efficiency can be optimized, also leading to reduced CO² emissions.
It is with this goal in mind that Generali Real Estate has adopted one of the most up-to-date energy monitoring platforms which allows to automatically calculate and collect consumption and monitor its evolution.
More in detail, through the mapping of buildings and meters, when the availability of data is large enough, it is possible to detect anomalies and suggest action plans to improve energy performance. Through simulation and predictive technologies, it is also possible to identify potential future issues.
What is GRESB
The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) is the leading rating system for measuring the sustainability performance of real estate companies and real estate funds. The GRESB score weighs seven different components, such as performance indicators, stakeholder engagement and management, making a significant contribution to transparency for sustainability topics in the real estate sector, covering nearly 117,000 assets globally. Using three core competencies: assessment, measurement, and benchmarking, the GRESB assessment provides real estate managers with key information and actionable insights, thanks to its unique analytical approach, allowing to compare ESG performance, identifying areas for improvement and engaging investors.
“GRESB assesses the performance of the assets, but also considers the corporate governance of the managing entity, making cross-functional collaboration essential. Thus, it is a great example of the synergies that can be achieved when different functions work together to raise the importance of sustainability in our business. By supporting GRESB and its values, we can foster our competitiveness in convincing our third-party business partners to invest in our funds.“
Olivier Terrenoire, Global Head of Asset, Property Management and Sustainable Investing at Generali Real Estate
Our tangible and measurable commitment: a five-star portfolio.
For the ninth consecutive year, the Joint Venture (JV) between Generali France (GRE) and Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) participated in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB).
In 2021, thanks to the strong commitment and effort to combine responsible management, tenant welfare and carbon footprint reduction, the JV achieved a score of 89/100, ranking 1st in its Office/Retail category in Western Europe. The JV received a five stars rating, the highest possible, placing in the top 20% of GRESB's benchmark.
The JV consists of a portfolio of 6 premium assets, mostly located in the CBD of Paris. Year after year, the JV partners, together with Generali Real Estate and property manager BNP Paribas Real Estate, have worked relentlessly to deploy the means necessary to achieve their joint environmental, social and governance goals.
100 Champs Elysées
“We are proud to be part of the GRESB panel since early 2013. The NBIM/Generali portfolio has over-performed year after year to reach the status of Green Star leader in 2021. Capitalizing on this experience, we have extended our participation to GRESB with 3 additional funds, which have already achieved very good results in their first year.”
Sebastien Pezet, Head of Western Europe Region at Generali Real Estate
“NBIM manages the assets of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global. We work to safeguard and build financial wealth for future generations. As a long-term and global financial investor, we focus on sustainable development, well-functioning markets and good corporate governance. In that context, we are delighted to achieve a five-star rating”.
Guilain Decrop, Head of Continental Europe, Unlisted Real Estate at NBIM
In the near future
The results from the Generali Real Estate/NBIM JV are under analysis to identify further improvements measures. Best practice actions are also applied to Generali’s other assets under management. In 2021, Generali Real Estate added 3 new funds to GRESB, and expects to submit four ones more in 2022.
Generali Real Estate has completed the acquisition of a part of the prestigious Gloria retail and office building complex located in the heart of CBD City-West Berlin.
It is composed of two buildings – a historical one and a modern one - for approximately 11,000 square meters of prime high street retail units and ultra-modern office spaces.
The assets perfectly represent Generali Real Estate’s commitment to sustainability. Both buildings in the Gloria complex are characterized by high-level wellbeing standards for the occupants, with special attention to environmental aspects, such as green areas and A-rating in international energy performance standards.
They achieved the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) Platinum certification, as the first and only listed building in the world to achieve this top sustainability score, thanks to its sustainable and monument-friendly renovation. Besides, the Excellent sustainability score has been confirmed by Generali Real Estate’s in-house assessment tool, based on BREEAM in-Use scheme.
Generali Real Estate acquires the Weidt Park Corner office project from the Hamburg DWI Group.
The eleven-storey building with around 12,600 m² of rental space is the defining landmark on Otto-Weidt-Platz, the centre of Berlin's Europacity designed as a jewellery square and offers modern office space as well as restaurant and showroom space on the ground floor.
A LEED sustainability certification in the gold category is planned when completion will be done allegedly by the end of 2021.
The said certification was confirmed by GRE in house assessment which achieved the score EXCELLENT thanks to its health and well-being potential.
Palazzo Berlam, one of the Generali premises in Trieste, was built in 1900s and is known as the first skyscraper of the city.
Modernist asset identifiable for its red bricks coating was the former Generali Real Estate premises until 2017 while now, after a major refurbishment lasting 3 years, it hosts the Generali Academy.
Due to the renovation works and the technical equipment the energy saving is up to 50% and it is qualified for Green Bond II 2021.
The Malesherbes building represents one of the best evidences of Generali Real Estate strong energy optimization initiatives and commitments.
In fact, the asset has achieved nearly 30% of both energy and GHG emissions in 2020, in line with the "Décret Tertiaire" French regulatory and taken the 3rd place on the "Certified Buildings" podium of French CUBE 2020 competition.
The energy savings were mainly obtained thanks to energy improvements and well management of technical equipment’s, closely to tenant contribution.
Environmental regulations, decarbonization and energy saving issues are topics increasingly affecting landlords. However, it is obvious that the owner of a property cannot meet all commitments without involving his tenant, equally concerned by these issues.
Green leases do already exist in the real estate market for several years. Tenants in particular viewed the regulations, which were initially still very complex, with great suspicion, as either hidden advantages in favor of the landlord were suspected behind the regulations or the effort involved was simply shied away from.
Generali Real Estate can look back on extensive experience with the development and implementation of green leases: Generali Real Estate was already involved in providing guidelines for green lease clauses for the real estate market in 2015. A corresponding brochure was made available (also online) in order to contribute to the dissemination of this useful tool. Even then, this project was rolled out in two countries (Italy and Germany) to ensure an international approach.
On basis of the experience of the following years, Generali Real Estate has developed an internal international standard for green clauses, which are now applied in the standard lease agreements across the European portfolio, adapted to the respective national law.
Thanks to Generali Real Estate's experience, an optimal ratio of comprehensiveness and complexity were achieved. The tenant has the option of choosing between a “basic package” (minimum requirement to speak of a green lease) or selected additional offers. Most important ESG topics as energy and CO² reduction, green regulations, certification, data analytics, are contained. So Generali tenants have the opportunity to contribute to the optimization of the property (e.g. through their contribution to energy monitoring), as well as to support their own sustainability goals. The standardized definition of green clauses results supports the Generali Real Estate systematic reporting. Green leases have become an indispensable part of certification and benchmarking approaches (e.g. GRESB) and give substantial support to the Generali Real Estate sustainability strategy.
Generali Real Estate aspires to a win-win sustainable collaboration with tenants:
Through Green lease, Generali Real Estate engages with tenants for a win-win sustainable collaboration, and meets demand for data analytics and disclosure by:
Framing the relations of the Parties to achieve compliance with the obligations prescribed by the regulations in force but also to embark the two parties on common and voluntary ESG commitments from which each will benefit
Support the occupants of rented premises so that their use maintains or improves environmental quality by promoting productivity, the health and well-being, saving energy and natural resources and respecting the environment.
Dialogue between the two parties for a common environmental management of assets that satisfies both parties and create transparent exchanges about energy optimization and environmental actions
In fact, top clients across Europe have already signed Generali Green Lease clauses.
The case stories: a journey across Europe
PwC Italy is one of the best examples of building a win- win tenant landlord relationship with a 15 + 9-year contract, signed in 2018.
The client signed a mandate by which they will give direct access to their energy provider platform. This allows Generali Real Estate to obtain the related data and start a profitable/fruitful relationship with them.
Based on a transparent communication about energy optimization and environmental actions undertaken by each of them in order to respect environmental commitment. And put in place future actions to improve energy performance in private areas by choosing more energy efficient actions accordingly.