In 2019, we have implemented a dedicated Direct Real Estate ESG Procedure on Responsible Investing outlining the commitment, principles, roles and responsibilities of the Direct Real Estate team as well as of the involved third parties, such as external investment managers and property managers.
Please find a summary of our Responsible Real Estate Investment policy available in the TCFD report 2019 on pages 159-160.
Our investment strategy considers ESG aspects, and endeavours to implement them when economically sensible. Sustainability criteria play an essential role in all direct real estate investments. New construction and refurbishment projects in Switzerland are subject to high sustainability standards and aim to fulfil Minergie standards whenever economically sensible.
Our long-term holding horizon and life-cycle approach mean that we aim to refurbish buildings at the end of the life cycle rather than pursuing a sale. The refurbishment results in a higher energy-efficiency standard in virtually all cases. Additionally, we proactively seek to introduce improvements during ongoing property management, such as replacing oil heating with other energy sources when the heating needs to be replaced, introducing more energy-efficient lighting systems in common areas, etc.