Management of physical environmental and climate risks
Cegereal is potentially vulnerable to various types of physical risks:
- Environmental risks potentially causing specific forms of pollution.
- Physical risks related to climate change.
Environmental risks come in many forms. They relate chiefly to indoor air quality, as well as the possible presence of asbestos or lead in buildings. To protect itself against these risks and guarantee its tenants’ comfort, Cegereal decided in 2014 to have all of its assets certified under two voluntary standards – NF HQE™ Exploitation and BREEAM In-Use International.
Cegereal anticipates and manages its environmental risks by means of a refurbishment and maintenance policy covering the various assets. In 2017, more than €800 thousand was devoted to green capex, notably for the replacement of cooling units in the Arcs de Seine building.
The physical risks associated with climate change are reflected in chronic changes that may sooner or later have an impact on assets. Cegereal’s buildings are affected by rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns. In line with the recommendations of the TCFD, and in accordance with Article 173-IV of France’s energy transition law, Cegereal has decided to improve the management of climate risks on its property portfolio.
As a result, no provisions for environmental risks have been recognized in Cegereal’s ﬁnancial statements.
Preventing pollution, and measures taken to promote health and safety
To prevent the risk of pollution, Cegereal asks its partners to sign a “Clean Site Charter,” thereby requiring them to meet health, safety and environmental criteria during renovation work. Providers tasked with technical management are also encouraged to take into account eco-design, sustainable development, energy performance and biodiversity criteria when selecting technologies and materials used for refurbishments and for communal life on sites.
The ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications held by the property managers help ensure that environmental impacts are properly taken into account. In line with regulations and pursuant to the COP21 agreement, Cegereal established a due diligence process in 2016 to ensure that climate and environmental risks are factored in during acquisitions. To further engage its stakeholders in its CSR strategy, this assessment is performed in partnership with asset manager Northwood Investors.
Biodiversity and land use
Cegereal is committed to evaluating and preserving the biodiversity present at its various assets. Ecological studies were conducted for the Europlaza, Arcs de Seine and Rives de Bercy assets in 2015 and for Hanami in 2017, thereby allowing biodiversity to be mapped across 100% of its portfolio.
Such studies serve to estimate the ecological value of the various sites and facilitate the implementation of ecological portfolio management aimed at preserving and developing their biodiversity and identifying possible improvements. This involves calculating biodiversity indicators such as the biotope coefficient to assess initial biodiversity levels and subsequently measure the results of ecological management plans. A certified ecologist defines and calculates the various indicators after inspecting the site, and records both ordinary and outstanding biodiversity, areas with major biodiversity neighboring the site, and plant and animal species to preserve and/or monitor. They also assess changes in vegetated areas, the diversity of biotopes, as well as threats and pollution on or around the sites on which assets are built. Cegereal also uses these studies to improve its communication on biodiversity and the commitments it has implemented to promote it. Since 2015, Cegereal has taken several steps in favor of biodiversity on the assets in its portfolio. Europlaza now boasts a 3,000-sq.m wooded garden, which explains its “Garden Tower” moniker. Arcs de Seine has a living roof covering its intercompany restaurant, as well as birdhouses and information boards devoted to biodiversity. Hanami features a watercourse and a large vegetated area that greatly encourage biodiversity.