Triodos Real Estate Fund is the first ‘zero emission’ real estate fund in The Netherlands. Based on a four-step reduction programme the emission of greenhouse gasses of the fund is zero. Based on actual energy use in combination with the CO₂-emission conversion factors of grey/green electricity and biogas, the actual CO₂-emission of a building can be determined. Thus, the CO₂-emission of the fund’s portfolio can be compared to the total average emission of Dutch office buildings.
Approach: Emission reduction in four steps
The portfolio of Triodos Real Estate Fund achieves its zero emission status in four steps. The first step is to reduce the CO₂-emission by cutting back the energy use of the offices. Thanks to several energy-saving measures, the average energy use of the portfolio buildings is 48.6% lower than the country-wide average.
The second step towards zero emission concerns the local production of renewable energy. Several of the buildings in portfolio are equipped with warmth/cold storage systems, whereas others have solar panels or solar collectors. Thus, from the total amount of used energy (electricity, gas and city heating) 8.2% is locally produced by the offices itself.
The third step is to purchase solemnly renewable energy. All energy used by Triodos Real Estate Fund’s buildings is electricity from wind and biogas. This results in as much as 88.7% less emission of CO₂ than the average Dutch office building.
The remaining emission, related to the transportation of energy, is compensated for in the final step by the purchase of Voluntary Emission Reduction. Triodos Real Estate Fund bought enough to compensate for the emission due to transportation of all renewable energy.
2014 was the fourth year the fund published its CO₂-benchmark. The graph shows that both the total energy use and the total CO₂-emission dropped considerably. To make a fair comparison, the vacancy percentage is included. The average occupancy stayed stable above 95%, while the energy consumption decreased and the CO₂-emission was reduced to zero.
The ultimate ambition of the fund is to realize an energy-neutral or zero-energy portfolio. In short, a Zero Energy Building produces an amount of renewable energy on site equal to the amount of energy it uses. To realize this goal, the fund is considering additional investments to further reduce energy consumption of the buildings, increase their production of renewable energy and increase their energy storage facilities. In the long term, the fund strives to integrate the portfolio buildings’ renewable energy resources and manage the portfolio as a ‘smart’ grid.