ABN AMRO took up the Green Quest challenge in November 2014. The Green Quest is a sustainability initiative of Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad and BNR News Radio in collaboration with Cofely, GDF SUEZ Nederland and SITA. ABN AMRO’s challenge was to improve the sustainability of the bank’s head office at Gustav Mahlerlaan in Amsterdam and its bank branch in Alkmaar by the end of 2015. Now, a year later, ABN AMRO is presenting the results.
ABN AMRO put the Green Team’s advice to work. In September, the head office at Gustav Mahlerlaan in Amsterdam obtained BREEAM In-Use Excellent certification and BREEAM Outstanding certification for building and facility management. This makes the bank’s head office, which was built in 1999, one of the most sustainable buildings in the Netherlands. The first carbon- and energy-neutral bank branch was opened in November in Alkmaar. This branch demonstrates that making existing buildings more sustainable is a profitable exercise.
Johan van Hall, member of the ABN AMRO Managing Board: ‘I’m proud of the results we have achieved. We got down to business, not only to improve our own offices but also to promote improvements throughout the rest of the country. We use the knowledge we have acquired when advising clients. Our impact is significant, given the large volume of residential and real estate loans the bank provides. As such, we can make a positive contribution to climate change.’
Passing on knowledge
ABN AMRO wants to improve the sustainability of its client portfolio and the chain in which the bank operates in various ways. Last year the bank formulated three learning objectives for passing on the knowledge it has acquired to clients and suppliers. The first learning objective is optimisation of the building and renovation process by means of ‘LEGOlisation’ of the building industry. The bank promotes more customisation in the building sector and easy adaptability of buildings in response to changing use. The approach used for the Margriet Tower in Amsterdam is an example of LEGOlisation; investments were 15% lower here than with traditional building methods.
ABN AMRO is working on the second learning objective – circular procurement – which will be used when building the new pavilion at Gustav Mahlerlaan. The final learning objective – ABN AMRO as a ‘launching customer’ for green innovations, working with start-ups – has been successful.
The pilot with Lone Rooftop, for example, was a success both for the bank and for the start-up. In this pilot, tracking of WiFi signals yielded information on activities and the use of space. The goal was to make more efficient use of space, maintenance and services.
To find out more, read the attached report. More information on the Green Quest and reactions from ABN AMRO and the Green Team members is available at www.thegreenquest.nl (in Dutch only).