Property specialist Redevco has produced the first benchmark measuring energy and water consumption by retail sector specialty.
This is the critical factor in assessing sustainability, rather than focusing on the property type. The research is detailed in Redevco’s 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report.
Derk Welling, Redevco’s head of corporate responsibility, says: “The key to understanding the main energy and water consumption trends in the retail world is to realise that these are primarily determined by the business of the user and then the nature of the building – which was the main basis of all previous studies. Now that we can measure the trends in individual retail sectors for the first time, Redevco will also be able to identify the best ways to conserve these vital resources at the property level and use this information to advise our tenants on how to cut costs.”
The Redevco research uses energy and water usage reports provided by 1,271 of its retail tenants, which equals 75 per cent of the total lettable area. The company’s EUR6.5bn portfolio of more than 500 properties is spread across the strongest retail locations in Europe and attracts major retailers such as C&A, Carrefour, Starbucks, GAP, Primark, H&M and others. As the largest share of Redevco’s portfolio (50 per cent) consists of high street properties, the sample is an effective pan-European proxy for measuring future trends in these key sustainability indicators by each retail sector speciality. In addition, the sample covers fairly small and difficult to monitor stores, as well as supermarkets and units within shopping centres.
The data in the report shows that perfume retailers stand out as the most intense users of energy at on average 801 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per square metre of floor space each year. They are also by far the most concentrated users of water, at 2.51 cubic metres per square metre of floor space annually. This is significantly more than for leases of mixed ready-to-wear fashion retailers, the largest sample in the study, which registered an average of 206 kWh/m2 in energy use a year and 0.23 m3 in average annual water consumption per square metre of space.
To allow retailers to compare their performance with their sector peers, or on a regional or countrywide basis, the investment manager has developed the Redevco Retailer Sustainability Benchmark (RRSB) tool based on the input provided by its individual tenants. Retailers can enter their own energy and water consumption data into the system to see their relative performance. They can also calculate the money potentially saved by improving their performance. The use of RRSB is not restricted to Redevco tenants and any European retailer can use the database to assess how sustainable their business is relative to the benchmark.