Sustainable real estate assets
The Generali Group is a global asset manager which also takes account of the issue of environmental respect in its investment strategies. Our sustainable investment guidelines are designed to avoid shareholdings in companies that seriously damage the environment and to guarantee highly sustainable real estate assets.
Generali Real Estate (GRE) is the Group company that manages real estate assets of a value of around € 26 billion. Through the management of a portfolio of unique diversity, made up of both historic and recently-constructed buildings, GRE has developed in-depth know-how of technological innovation and sustainability.
More specifically, as part of the European Green Building Workshop project, GRE has developed the Green Building Guidelines (GBG), which aim to improve the environmental performance of the Group’s real estate assets, ensuring they reach high levels in order to create environmentally-sustainable value. We have set ourselves two ambitious goals with this initiative, i.e. to pre-empt the regulations in order to contain the future obsolescence of real estate, and to make sure that through the whole real estate value chain (developers, managers, occupiers) efficient sustainability rules are known and implemented.
Moreover, through the policy document Green Leases: Recommendations for an environmentally sustainable approach to the real estate sector, we created guidelines and non-binding principles to share best practices and raise awareness on the commitment to environmental sustainability, reducing costs and improving the working environment.
The progress made in the implementation of the guidelines is periodically monitored by referencing a series of specific indicators. The development of the project has resulted in HQE, DGNB, LEED and/or BREEAM certification for an increasing number of buildings. Below is a summary of some of the most significant projects carried out in 2016:
The building in Milan obtained the LEED sustainability certification. Among the main improvements put in place were the improvement of the thermal performance of the building through the insulation of the external walls and the installation of high-performance windows, as well as the installation of a latest generation air-conditioning system. Furthermore, for reducing the electrical consumption, LED lights were installed in the common parts of the property.
The building in Paris, one of the most prestigious properties of Generali’s real estate assets built in Haussman style, obtained HQE Exploitation certification for the degree of sustainability achieved. After its purchase in 2013, GRE renovated the building to achieve the highest sustainability standards, both as regards the building’s structural part and the management of energy consumption. The tenants of the property were made aware of and actively involved in adopting the environmental performance improvements. Despite some regulatory restrictions on historic buildings, the results were comparable to the standards of new buildings, with an overall limited investment compared to the property’s market value.
The Farragut building in Washington DC received LEED Platinum certification for its efficient use of resources, after having obtained the LEED Gold certificate in 2012. These recognitions are even more significant if we consider the age of the building (1961) and its complex management (over 30 tenants). The main improvements implemented by the team of Generali engineers regarded the cooling system with the installation of new chillers, an innovative approach to daily energy management and with continuous adjustments determined by weather conditions, interventions on the lighting system with the installation of sensors and LED lights and on the hydraulic system to minimise consumption.