Our sustainability targets
Our ESG strategy rests on four pillars to cover the most material topics for the Group. It aims at transforming and future-proofing our portfolio, giving purpose to our teams, transition drive to our tenants and shared value for our communities.
ENVIRONMENT Ensuring our business path - including own operations and asset portfolio - is on track towards full circularity and net zero carbon emissions by 2050
BIODIVERSITY Stimulate biodiversity by investing and protecting the natural environment in and around our parks and elsewhere
SOCIAL Promote social cohesion, reduce inequality, and protect vulnerable communities and individuals through business conduct and specific support initiatives
GOVERNANCE Adequate governance and Environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations integrated into the policies and principles that govern our business and reflect our commitment to inclusive, sustainable growth
VGP Corporate Responsibility Report 2021 - Highlights
What we achieved so far
We can provide for the total energy consumption of our tenants with our allocated solar power generation capacity (operational, under construction and planned)
Green power generation capacity of 204.3 MWp (operational, under construction and planned), on track to achieve 300 MWp in 2025 (68% of target currently allocated)
61% of the total portfolio has now been environmentally certified
VGP Foundation identified 36 support projects with € 6.6 million funding committed
Anchor our commitment to inclusive, sustainable growth in a broad range of policies
Sustainable reporting in accordance with GRI-standards and CDP greenhouse emissions
Building portfolio CO2 footprint monitoring & management with GRESB reporting
VGP’s goals & commitments in alignment with the SDGs
Sustainability program, governance and green finance framework certified by Cicero
Our approach to sustainability
As a family-owned business we aim to use our know-how to ensure that we contribute to a bright and sustainable future for the coming generations.
We seek to continuously optimize our buildings in accordance with the demands of the market and the latest technological innovations. Energy efficiency and sustainability are among our top priorities. We know that it is possible to build, redevelop, renovate and transform logistics properties in a sustainable and technologically advanced way. This is beneficial to both the environment and the wellbeing of the people who work at our locations.
To help our employees thrive in the culturally diverse markets in which we operate, VGP is actively promoting an inclusive and transparent workplace. Our strong family culture and collegial spirit is based on mutual trust and respect, and we strive to provide opportunities for growth to our employees with room for personal initiative. At VGP, we celebrate our differences and support a working environment free of harassment and discrimination, where all of our colleagues can contribute equally to our commercial goals.
We strive to create sustainable value and be a trusted partner to our customers and the communities in which we operate as well as to our employees
Sustainability efforts for our own activities
VGP has committed to reducing scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 50% by 2030 and to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2025.
In order to realize this ambitious goal, we have introduced four key measures in the different fields of our day-to-day operations, based on the findings of a GHG protocol compliant carbon footprint analysis conducted over 2019:
- Making commuting more sustainable by transitioning to electric cars and to bikes for trips of < 10km
- Introducing a business travel policy which aims to replace flight travel by teleconferencing for 20% of meetings and by train for trips of < 750km
- Switching to green energy contracts for our office buildings
- Promoting digitization to reduce paper consumption and waste
As of January 2022, all VGP offices across Europe have switched to 100% renewable energy.
In addition, we have invested in in-house expertise to be able to effectively drive our sustainability commitments forward from within.
GREEN ENERGY CONTRACTS for our office buildings
BUSINESS TRAVEL more teleconferencing and train trips
COMMUTING transition to electric cars and bikes for short trips
DIGITIZATION to reduce paper consumption and waste
Our building portfolio
Our buildings are the heart and centre of our business, and a key area where we have a positive sustainability impact. Our efforts to promote sustainable and innovative solutions focus on environmental building certification, CO2-reducing technological elements, and sustainable portfolio management.
VGP Sustainable building
Circular building and CO2-reducing technologies
We apply a high-quality and certified building standard to create sustainable value for shareholders, tenants and local communities and in order to ensure we use natural resources or energy more efficiently. In 2022 VGP is conducting a study with ARUP for sustainable building. Typically applied building design and management elements include:
- Use of highly qualified and certified materials under ISO 14001
- At least 80% of timber used to be certified and originating from sustainably managed forests with FSC or PEFC: Discover more
- No gas heating (usage of geothermal or other energy sources) where possible
- Installation of solar panels, where feasible
- Rainwater retention and sustainable landscaping of the site
- Electric car and truck charging facilities adapted to client needs
- Skylights for natural light
- Water treatment plant: collecting and threatening rainwater/wastewater for reuse for gardening, toilets and cleaning
- Various biodiversity initiatives such as birdhouses, insect hotels, wood walls, ecoducts and beehives, based on advice from ecologists
- Central energy monitor-, control-, regulation- and optimalisation system, tailored to client needs
Sustainable portfolio management
- Aim for a net relative 55% reduction (compared to base year 2020) of “in use” Scope 3 emissions by 2030
- Sustainable use of buildings given > 95% occupancy rate
- Increasing number of construction projects on brownfield land to repurpose industrial wasteland
- Integration of green areas to promote biodiversity
Close to 40% of our development projects acquired in 2021 have been brownfield sites, placing our clients closer to their clients and customers and improving their supply chain efficiency and last minute delivery.
VGP building portfolio environmental disclosure
In order to allow our stakeholders to make their own assessment of our efforts we report annually against independent market and sector ESG frameworks which assess our disclosure and performance, including GRI, CDP, Sustainalytics, GRESB (real estate sector), TCFD and S&P Global CSA.
With regards to the reporting of CO2 emissions and energy consumption data of our portfolio, this has been third-party validated by CO2Logic based on PAS 2060 and the GHG protocol.
VGP is a referenced participant in the ‘CRREM SURVEY ON TRANSITION RISK’ in 2021. The purpose of the survey is to provide insights and market views on the current trends and/or challenges with regards to VGP’s carbon and transition risks. The interview with VGP is published on the CRREM website and can be read here.
'As a mission-based non-profit that runs the global environmental disclosure system, CDP greatly values the support of VGP NV. Urgent system-wide action remains critical to ensuring that we can limit global warming to 1.5°C, avoid the worst effects of climate change and safeguard our planet’s natural resources. Disclosure is the first key step in addressing current and future environmental risks. VGP NV has demonstrated its commitment to transparency around its environmental impacts and strategies for action by disclosing its environmental data through CDP in 2022. Disclosure not only provides the foundation for environmental action, but brings tangible business benefits for shareholders, customers and employees alike.' - Dexter Galvin, CDP Global Director, Corporations & Supply Chains, October 2022.
Supporting our clients in reducing their carbon footprint
Green electricity by VGP Renewable Energy
Our separate business unit “VGP Renewable Energy” offers a broad array of renewable energy solutions, including solar, wind and thermal, as well as integrators for storage and distribution. It is our goal is to achieve 300 MWp of renewable energy capacity by 2025.
We offer green energy through PV-roof or PV-ground mounted systems and provide for battery installation and management. Furthermore, we help our tenants identify green energy usage optimization through energy control in industrial and production processes to maximize PV/Wind consumption potential.
In addition to our green energy offer, we support our clients in their transition towards a green (forklift-)truck and car fleet by providing electric car and truck charging stations.
CO2 neutral building enhancements
Partner with clients to achieve CO2 neutral operations at VGP Parks
We have received our first EU Taxonomy compliant building confirmation
It is a priority to us to establish measures which align our portfolio with the European climate objectives. You can find our EU Taxonomy Policy here.
The life cycle assessments of VGP's EU taxonomy compliant projects can be disclosed upon request of the tenant or an investor. On top of that the results of the air-tightness and thermography measurement can be disclosed upon request, too. Please contact us here
On selected brownfield sites in Germany, we have established what it will require to obtain DGNB KlimaPositiv (CO2 neutral) certification
VGP in the community
Close alignment of the objectives of each park with the local municipality is an integral part of the success of our land acquisition strategy and asset and facility management of our standing portfolio.
Through initiatives organized and tailored by local country and VGP park management teams as well as through the VGP Foundation, VGP focuses on the objectives of providing access to education and fundamental care, supporting the growth of local economies, delivering projects that enhance biodiversity and the local environment, and protect the local cultural heritage.
Here you can read more about the Group’s community strategy and various initiatives taken in the community.
Supporting environmental, societal and cultural projects across Europe
In order to maximize our positive societal impact, we set up the VGP Foundation in 2019. We have committed to contribute circa 1-2% of our annual profit to the foundation. It aims to encourage nature conservation, to have a positive impact on local communities through social projects, and to conserve and protect European cultural heritage.
One of our most recent projects is the restoration of peatland ‘Chore Bagno’ in Ukraine. Peatland is a unique ecosystem that consists of several meters thick layers of peat. Thanks to the big amount of components of a natural origin, peatlands are significant storage places of CO2 and other gases. Peatlands store 30% of world’s soil carbon which makes them twice more effective than all other vegetation types combined on Earth. Additionally, they play an important role in flood prevention in many areas and they are a natural habitat to many rare and protected species of animals and plants. Have a look at the video of this project here.
Our green financing framework
The VGP Green Finance Framework provides a clear and transparent set of criteria which facilitates investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmentally friendly projects which are part of VGP’s asset portfolio. The framework thereby makes an important contribution to reducing carbon emissions and facilitating the transition to a low carbon environment. Our Green Financing Framework was independently reviewed and classified as “Medium Green” with a “Good” Governance framework, in-line with the Green Bond and Green Loan principles by CICERO Shades of Green AS.
The framework enabled VGP to successfully issue its first public benchmark Green Bond for an aggregate nominal amount of €600 million in March 2021. In January 2022, the Group issued its second Green Bond (split into two tranches) on the Euro market for an aggregate nominal amount of € 1.0 billion.
Our sustainability reporting
VGP wants to be a responsible corporate citizen that engages in close exchange with its stakeholders. To this end, VGP has published a standalone CR report since 2019.
The report outlines key targets and achievements and describes how VGP addresses corporate sustainability and implements its sustainability strategy as well as current policies and guidelines. It is prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards – Core Option and has not been externally audited. Apart from the GRI, VGP’s CR Report makes strong reference to the United Nations’ Agenda 2030. The goals identified are in line with the UN Global Compact guidance. VGP is signatory of the UN Gobal Compact letter, supporting the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
For a full overview of VGP’s ESG policy documents and guidelines, please refer to the Corporate Governance page on our website: