Thanks to the use of a digital energy management and optimization system at the forefront of their environmental strategy, Cofinimmo has been able to remain a sustainability trend-setter in the real estate sector.
Cofinimmo is the largest listed property company in Belgium, with 300 international assets in their portfolio spread over Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Spain. This portfolio is worth over €4 billion, representing an area of nearly 2,000,000 m².
Cofinimmo has long been a sustainability trendsetter in the real estate industry. For more than 15 years, sustainability has been central to their strategy, and their actions have been based on concrete science, management and the use of digital tools, such as METRON's EMOS.
From the very beginning of Cofinimmo's environmental strategy, they have been using an EMOS to achieve their wider ESG goals. The goal of Cofinimmo's most recent sustainability project, called 30³, is to reduce the energy intensity of their portfolio by 30% and to 130 kWh per square meter by 2030.
Recently, we spoke to Hanna de Groot, Head of ESG at Cofinimmo, who reflected on the sustainability strategy of the company and how the METRON solution helps achieve their goals, making Cofinimmo a trend-setter in the sector.
In this article, we explain how Cofinimmo was able to achieve their environmental goals and become a sustainability leader thanks to digitalization.
By Implementing Smart Meters and an Energy Management and Optimization System
The first step of Cofinimmo's sustainability strategy was the implementation of smart meters in all of their office buildings, which digitally transmit all energy data of the assets to their EMOS. This allowed them to gain in-depth knowledge of the energy consumption of their buildings, and understand how to best prioritize investments for renovations or other necessary actions.
Over the years, as their portfolio evolved with more properties in other sectors such as elderly care, they began to implement smart meters in these assets too. The same approach was therefore also applied to Cofinimmo's healthcare portfolio. By the end of 2022, 75% of their portfolio had been covered by digital meters. In the coming years, the goal is to take it to full coverage over the next few years.
Each type of buildings requires different needs that need addressing. This requires agility and innovation in terms of dashboarding, capability, and artificial intelligence, which an EMOS was able to provide.
"As it should be, sustainability is more and more a general concern for many companies.
Especially, and certainly within the world of real estate. Sustainability has a tremendous potential impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions linked to energy consumption of the buildings.
Cofinimmo, way ahead of competitors, has integrated sustainability as a central part of its strategy, now for more than 15 years."
Hanna de Groot (Head of ESG at Cofinimmo)
By Using Energy Data to Gain Certifications
Energy data insights were not only a means to reduce energy intensity, but also a way to be able to obtain certifications which demand detailed energy reports.
For example, Cofinimmo was able to obtain the BREEAM certificate, and energy performance certificates. They were also able to participate in the GRESB benchmark, which focuses on water and waste data, as well as energy data, all of which can be centralized within an EMOS.
By Implementing Other Sustainability Related Improvements
Implementing an EMOS also facilitated the implementation of other sustainability initiatives which have a positive impact on the environment.
For example, they were able to install more than 600 square meters of solar panels within their portfolio, which together produced 1900 megawatt hours of electricity. This energy is now both used and produced on site. They were able to collect all of this information on their EMOS platform.
Cofinimmo also focused on improving insulation standards, green roofs, and green spaces inside and around the buildings. At their elderly home in Weverbos, these elements greatly contribute to the quality of life of users of their buildings.
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