ABN AMRO and OVG Real Estate have announced that they will work together to redevelop vacant buildings. This autumn the partners will start work on transforming a total of 50,000+ square metres of commercial real estate. Soon the market will be four new sustainable office buildings richer, spread across Amsterdam and Rotterdam. ABN AMRO has created its first official green loan to finance the project.
This initiative by ABN AMRO and OVG will help reduce CO2 emissions by around 750 tonnes per year. The spearheads that OVG will pursue in this redevelopment are sustainability, technology and health. OVG will use smart technologies and innovations to create a healthy and productive living and working environment and at the same time minimise pollution. The real estate projects, which will have energy rating A and will consume a minimum of 30% less CO2, will be compliant with the Climate Bond Standard.
The buildings and their working environments will be designed to promote modern working methods, foster an efficient working culture and encourage teamwork. They will also feature high-tech innovations that can be programmed to suit the users’ individual preferences by means of a mobile app: an IP backbone, localisation, integrated IoT systems, light, audio and video installations, sensors and Data Analytics & Radio Frequency Identifiers (RFIDs), for example.
Founder and CEO of OVG Real Estate Coen van Oostrom comments, ‘We’re very happy to announce this exciting partnership with ABN AMRO to turn vacant office space into responsible real estate. We applaud ABN AMRO’s efforts in sustainable projects and the bank’s willingness to take risks, and we look forward to contributing our understanding of sustainable, high-tech and smart workspaces. We’re excited about the challenge of working together to renovate existing buildings and help achieve ambitious energy targets.’
To finance the transformation, ABN AMRO has created its first official green real estate loan, with a value of EUR 80 million. With OVG’s input, ABN AMRO has developed a financing framework in accordance with the Green Bond Principles. The buildings that the project covers will also be compliant with the standard introduced by the Climate Bond Initiative. Certification according to the Climate Bond Standard guarantees that the investment is sustainable. The result is an innovative structure that allows investors to invest indirectly – and soon directly – in improving the sustainability of Dutch real estate.
Rutger Schuur, Director of Real Estate Clients at ABN AMRO, adds, ‘We’re proud to partner up with OVG and we look forward to getting started on this exciting project. OVG’s principle of using smart solutions to improve sustainability is an important element in our work too, and we hope that creating green loans will allow us to bring together commercial real estate and sustainable investors more often in the future. These loans enable interested parties to participate directly in efforts to improve sustainability and accelerate the redevelopment of real estate in the Netherlands.’