Achieving net zero requires closer cooperation with tenants

Reducing the impact of the built environment on the climate necessitates close cooperation between the stakeholders involved.

“Collaborating with tenants is the only way to eventually reach our climate goals,” said Elise van Herwaarden, Sustainability Manager at Dutch property investment manager ASR Real Estate.

“What we found is that in each of our asset classes we have a different way of working with our tenants, but the key word is ‘engagement’,” she said.

Herwaarden said that in the company’s residential portfolio the main thing to do is make the buildings more sustainable, but also generating renewable energy also helps.

“We really need our tenants to give their permission to install PV panels on their roofs, for example. And we need 70% of our tenants to agree with the plans to make their dwellings more sustainable. She added that it is possible to charge a higher rent after PV panels have been installed because energy costs are lower, and in the present high-energy-cost environment reducing residents’ costs genuinely adds something to their lives.

The retail sector presents a bigger challenge because tenants rent a shell. “We can try slightly to influence their behaviour,” Herwaarden said. “But if they still want to open up their doors in the middle of the winter to attract clients into their shops a lot of energy of course gets lost so that’s really where we have to work together to reach certain goals.”

Click on the video to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.