The ABN AMRO Sustainable Investment Tool offers insight and inspires business owners to become more sustainable

Many business owners think making their work premises more sustainable is a good idea. But where to start? What about the costs? And who to hire? The bank now offers answers to all those questions and more – in just a few clicks – with the Sustainable Investment Tool.

Most business owners have one main priority: doing business. The owner of a big factory will probably be focused more on the productivity of his machinery and workforce, and less on the building that houses them.

But ABN AMRO wants to change that. Making property sustainable is one of the most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions to ensure our planet, and later generations, have a future. That’s why the ABN AMRO Sustainable Investment Tool, developed in partnership with the advisory firm CFP Green Buildings, has recently been made available to all business owners, regardless of whether they’re ABN AMRO clients. The tool easily provides them with insight into potential sustainable improvements to their premises and the impact those changes will have in the future.

Insights and suggestions

“The online tool gives all our business clients an understanding of how their premises rate in terms of energy labels and suggests energy-saving measures they can implement such as insulation, LED lighting and solar panels. Crucially, though, the tool also shows them how to earn a better energy label rating,” explains Vincent Grobben.

An ABN AMRO relationship manager, Grobben regularly tours his clients’ business premises to see what sustainable improvements they can make. “The tool not only tells them how much the improvements will cost, but also calculates payback time and estimates the resulting reduction in carbon emissions,” he explains. “All users have to do is enter their address, and they’re instantly presented with a complete sustainability overview of the property. There’s also a feature allowing them to immediately request quotes to have solar panels or LED lighting installed.”

Motivation

Business clients can also apply to have the sustainability measures they take fully financed by ABN AMRO, but that’s not the primary objective of the Sustainable Investment Tool, Grobben says. “Our main aim is to help motivate business owners to make their premises more sustainable, and we think the insight the tool offers them will help,” he continues.

Besides supporting its clients in greening up their place of business and reducing carbon emissions, the bank, too, benefits from these improvements. “Of course ABN AMRO wants to take social responsibility, but it also bears mentioning that when business premises are more sustainable, the bank incurs less risk. If the owner ends up in financial difficulty at some point and has to put the property on the market, it will be easier to sell if sustainable improvements have already been made.”

An improved tool

The Sustainable Investment Tool had previously been made available to the bank’s real estate clients. “But it worked differently,” Grobben explains. “Real estate clients could only enter their premises into the tool with the aid of their relationship manager, and it took time before they got the results back. We’ve since made major improvements to the tool. Now anyone can use it online and get instant feedback on the effect energy-saving measures will have. Since we’ve opened up access to the tool, we anticipate many more business owners using it. Plus there’s now the added convenience that they can use it any time they like and get immediate feedback. We’re truly making it as easy as possible for them.” The online tool is now available to all business owners in the Netherlands.

“Obviously, each user will have different reasons for making their business premises more sustainable. Some will be swayed by the cost advantage, others by the prospect of doing business more sustainably. Experience shows that the insight and overview the tool provides are highly valued by our clients.” As an example, Grobben cites one of his own clients active in the metalworking industry: “He has a number of big factory workshops in which the lights always have to be on. We figured out that if he had LED lighting installed, the energy savings would be huge. ABN AMRO has offered him 100 per cent financing, and he will have recouped the cost of the equipment and installation within three to four years. Clearly, it’s an initiative that works both ways.”

The bank aims to ensure that all the properties in its portfolio have an average label rating of A by 2030. The current average is a D label rating. “We’ve obviously got our work cut out,” says Grobben. “But the tool will play an important role in helping us achieve our goal.”

Why not find out how sustainable and efficient your own business premises are? Check out the ABN AMRO Sustainable Investment Tool.