Catella Residential IM partners with ESG advisor Westbridge to make EUR4.5bn European portfolio carbon neutral

Berlin-based Catella Residential Investment Management (CRIM) has commissioned German ESG services provider Westbridge Advisory to help make its entire EUR4.5 billion European portfolio carbon-neutral through the supply of renewable energy following a successful pilot for its assets in Germany. 

The European portfolio comprises 207 residential properties with a total of around 27,000 units. Some 100 properties, with around 13,000 residential units, are located in Germany, while the rest are spread over Austria, France, Spain, Finland, Poland, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.  

Westbridge has already helped to achieve a carbon dioxide reduction of around 13,500 tonnes across CRIM’s entire EUR2.2 billion portfolio in Germany by changing the energy supply of the 100 assets. While making the German stock CO2-neutral, Westbridge also streamlined the energy consumption cost structure, generating total savings of around EUR455,000. Of this, EUR280,000 was attributable to the conversion of the natural gas supplies and the remainder, EUR175,000, to climate-friendly electricity. The conversion projects for residential assets in the other European countries are currently in the operational implementation phase and are expected to be completed in the first half of 2021. 
Hagen Fitzer, Director ESG & Head of Technical Management at Catella Residential Investment Management, says: "In Westbridge Advisory we have found a reliable partner who supports our strategic ESG objectives, particularly with regard to achieving carbon neutrality for all the assets we manage throughout Europe. In the first phase, we were able to optimise our operating costs for all our properties in Germany while at the same time converting them to become climate-neutral."
Rüdiger Salzmann, Managing Partner at Westbridge, adds: "More and more investment managers are making their portfolios carbon neutral in the wake of the new ESG regulations in the European financial sector, which also affects the real estate industry. In order to be able to continue to support CRIM in its ESG reporting in the future, we are protocolling and analysing in detail the processes we have initiated. Further sustainability projects with CRIM, such as the digitalisation of its metering infrastructure, are now in preparation.”

The alliance with Westbridge is in line with CRIM’s policy to meet its financial objectives whilst simultaneously delivering market-leading ESG standards at both fund and asset level. The Catella Group and all its subsidiaries view effective management of environmental impact and risk as part of their fiduciary duties, especially in light of their joint goal to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement and reduce their carbon footprint.