Friday, 16 July 2021
‘Frequently, logistics real estate is subject to short-term thinking. Greenfield land is still being used and many new buildings are tailored to the needs and specific wishes of a first user, rather than thinking about a site’s potential over a lifetime,’ says Philippe Van der Beken, Managing Director for Continental Europe at global real estate developer and investor Goodman. ‘Sustainability is – and should always be - a long-term consideration.’
‘At Goodman, we know that our properties have an impact on the communities in which they are located. They remain part of the local landscape for many years.
‘Designing and developing logistics properties simply for their first use does not align with our long-term vision. We focus on securing prime sites and developing properties that will stand the test of time: close to cities with large consumer populations and suitable for our customers to efficiently deliver their goods, while reducing transport time and carbon emissions.
‘Our sustainably located spaces are designed to be flexible and adaptable to accommodate future needs and therefore maximise their potential for long-term redevelopment.’
‘With flexible, energy-efficient and future-oriented design, you can extend the lifespan of a building significantly and drastically reduce its environmental impact.
‘Sites that suit long-term opportunities are mostly located in suburban and metropolitan areas and are typically redevelopment locations. Increasing urbanisation means demand for logistics spaces in prime locations close to consumers is on the rise. Instead of developing greenfield sites, we are committed to revitalising brownfield land to reduce our impact on the environment. We further limit our footprint through extremely efficient layout plans and multi-level building concepts.’
‘For us, sustainable redevelopment of brownfield sites involves reducing our environmental impact by reusing and recycling materials generated during demolition, building construction or renovation. We integrate the existing infrastructure into the design and reuse the demolished concrete, often as foundations for the building and infrastructure.
‘In addition, LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) enables us to upcycle building materials and components even more efficiently in the future.
‘We measure the total environmental impact of our developments and offset any embodied carbon: for every square meter we develop, we plant a tree. Every year, we plant around 600,000 trees in collaboration with local nature organisations. For example, we are planting an urban forest on our site in Puurs according to the Miyawaki principle: a dense plantation of native trees that grows ten times faster and absorbs thirty times as much CO2 as a conventional forest plantation. This, like our development of brownfield sites, ensures biodiversity is protected and where possible, enhanced on site.
‘Goodman is already carbon neutral in our business operations: Our performance is audited by an independent consultancy firm every year. By 2025, our ambition is to extend that approach across our entire business. We are already developing net-zero carbon emission buildings that are capable of generating green energy and helping our customers reduce energy demands and costs. Our commitment to sustainability is not limited to development only: we also invest in making our older buildings more sustainable.’
‘Customers initially choose us for our strategic locations, but we expect sustainability will become an increasingly influential factor in their decision making process.
‘Consumers and companies from all sectors are developing an environmental awareness that is inspiring changes in their operations and daily lives. They also expect improved environmental performance from their direct suppliers or business partners. Forward-thinking companies attach great importance to sustainability and are taking major steps to make it integral to their business. There will be a high price to pay for companies that are not willing or capable to be sustainable.’