New laws and obligations are sprouting like mushrooms in Europe, as the continent tries to get a grip on sustainability. But how do you make sustainability measurable? Van der Vorm Vastgoed Groep partnered with CFP on ESG reporting to comply with the Paris climate agreement. Using a hexagon session, they came up with a customised ESG report containing the key themes for Van der Vorm Vastgoed.
With the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) looming, large companies will be required to report on sustainability policies and performance from 2024. This information must then be reviewed by an external auditor. Van der Vorm Vastgoed is not waiting until 2024 and has already started working with CFP Green Buildings to prepare an ESG report. This took into account the legislative frameworks surrounding ESG, such as the EU Taxonomy and the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
Van der Vorm Vastgoed is not waiting until 2024. It’s time for action! Or as Simon IJsselstein, project director at Van der Vorm Vastgoed Groep, outlines: “Better to start small than to keep thinking about the big.”– Simon IJsselstein, projectdirecteur at Van der Vorm Vastgoed Groep
With Dutch and EU legislation and regulations in mind, sustainability reporting standards such as GRI, CRREM and GRESB were compared in parallel. Lian van Uem, consultant at CFP Green Buildings: “We looked at how the various reporting standards could be applied to Van der Vorm Vastgoed’s mission and long-term goals. We then proceeded to undertake a conversion to ESG themes.”
The Environment theme revolves around environmental impact. For Van der Vorm Vastgoed, climate adaptivity is a key topic within this theme, which includes green roofs, birdhouses and less concrete. Achieving a 10% carbon reduction per year, energy saving and water conservation are also part of this theme.
The focal points within the Social theme revolve around society. Van der Vorm Vastgoed converted this into, for instance, employee satisfaction and social interaction. This could include meeting places, kitchen gardens and events for tenants. But social issues are also discussed, such as affordable housing, supporting charities and inclusion. This theme also focuses on sustainable value chains and assesses the sustainable activities of investors and suppliers.
An example from practice: Van de Vorm Vastgoed created a vegetable garden at an apartment complex in Leiden. The shed is made of 100% circular wood, and it even incorporates wood that was harvested from another building located less than a kilometer away. The vegetable garden beds are also made of circular wood, making this project align with multiple ESG themes.
This theme covers governance-related topics. Shareholder democracy and compliance benchmarks are key topics here. However, the mental and physical health of employees also receive attention within this theme, with governance ambitions in this area being considered.
Once the outline of the ESG reporting was outlined, the ESG themes and targets were finalised during a hexagon session. This session also considered how everything could be made measurable. Lian: “We jointly developed a scorecard, with a weighting attached to the different themes within ESG. We also looked at how Van der Vorm Vastgoed scores on the themes compared with other parties. Based on that information, targets, KPIs and specific measures were formulated with a view to 2050.”
Work is now underway on the first ESG report. The required data within the Environment theme have been made visible and on this basis, specific measures are planned for 2023/2024. The lines to 2050 are also further defined in this first report.