In the first nine months of 2023 IGD made further progress in terms of transparency in the disclosure of its ESG performance and laid the foundation for more. The targets to reduce emissions will have greater value once they are SBTi certified, while the ESG ratings will benefit from the GRESB Real Estate Assessment which IGD chose to subject its performances to. In September IGD, once again, also received Gold awards from EPRA for the quality and transparency of the information provided in the Sustainability Report and the 2022 Annual Report.
In terms of the fight against climate change, IGD took further steps through new investments in expanding the production of renewable energy and an innovative project which will make the ESP center in Ravenna a zero emissions center, including thanks to the use of a few “nature-based solutions”.
IGD increasingly more committed to maximum transparency in ESG
IGD began the process to obtain SBTi certification for its environmental goals to reduce emissions. The structure has already been defined for the Scope 1 and 2 objectives, while the objectives for Scope 3, namely the emissions which the Company does not control directly but that are indirectly tied to its business, are in the process of being finalized.
What is the SBTi?
SBTi, the Science Based Target initiative defines and promotes ambitious corporate Climate actions by providing organizations with clearly defined paths, consistent with the Paris Agreement goals. More than 4,000 entities have already worked with SBTi globally and adopted its methodology.
In 2023 IGD also began the GRESB assessment process. This assessment will enrich the other 14 unsolicited ESG ratings IGD has already received from specialized global agencies.
What is the GRESB Real Estate Assessment?
The GRESB Real Estate Assessment is the global standard for ESG benchmarking and reporting in the real estate sector. The process developed by GRESB assesses the performance of companies with respect to seven different aspects of sustainability which include disclosure of KPIs, like energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and recycling, as well as waste management. The methods used are the same for the different segments of the real estate sector and aligned with international reporting standards, like the GRI and PRI.
In September 2023, EPRA (European Public Real Estate Association) awarded IGD the EPRA sBPR Gold Award for the ninth year in a row and the EPRA BPR Gold for the sixth year in a row, recognition of the transparency and completeness of IGD’s sustainability and financial reporting, respectively. These awards confirm that the Company is serious about its commitment to the most transparent and complete disclosure possible, aiming to be increasingly aligned with the new recommendations that EPRA publishes periodically relative to best practices in reporting.
IGD’s real estate portfolio is increasingly more effective in reducing its environmental impact
The energy efficiency of IGD’s properties improved further in 2023, in accordance with the investment plan included in the Business Plan 2022-2024.
Today IGD can count on 10 installed solar energy systems, of which 8 in Italy and 2 in Romania. Investments will continue with the installation of new panels at the La Favorita Shopping Center in Mantua (where work is underway on placing the system in the outdoor parking area) and two more shopping centers in Romania between year-end 2023 and 2024.
The electricity produced by the systems already in use and the ones that will be opened soon will reach 3,450 megawatts which will cover approximately 6.3% of the electricity consumed by IGD.
As of today 10 of IGD’s shopping centers (or 63% of the Company’s Italian portfolio) have also obtained BREEAM certification: this ensures the tenants a high level of environmental performance, which lowers the cost for which they are responsible, while also providing the local communities with clear benefits as the BREEAM certification calls for strict control of the greenhouse gases produced by the properties. The certification plan will continue over the next few years, as well.
Consistent with ensuring that the real estate assets are even more environmentally friendly, IGD is launching a completely new and very ambitious project, namely the project to make the ESP center in Ravenna IGD’s first “Zero carbon emissions”.
The work slotted for the next few months will involve substituting the traditional heating/cooling systems at all the stores and the mall’s common areas with highly energy efficient equipment. This will result in noticeable energy savings which means lower costs for IGD and the mall tenants.
In a second phase, the project calls for the implementation of strategies based on “Nature-based Solutions”, including the reduction of the heat island effects, absorption of CO2, protection of biodiversity and precipitation management in order to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff.