Martin Führlein. Credit: GRR Group
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GRR Group initiates extensive ESG focus

“Local food retailers are particularly stable in value as an investment if they are sustainable. The demand for ESG-compliant properties, which promise higher profitability in the long term, is steadily increasing”

“We initiated the ESG turnaround and developed a new fund to drive our sustainability strategy. We have aligned all business objectives and practices with environmental, social and corporate governance criteria–ESG for short,” explains Martin Führlein, GRR Group board member.

“We are optimistic that we will be able to launch these new fund offerings as early as 2022. In our view, the real estate sector has a key role to play in the climate turnaround. In the case of retail properties, we see particular potential for improvement through energy refurbishment, new construction to green building standards and the increased use of renewable energy sources,” says Führlein.

After GRR completed the investment phase for GRR German Retail Fund No.3 last year, three GRR funds with a total of more than 600 million euros of raised equity and more than 1.1 billion euros of investment have now been placed and invested. The planned investment volume of GRR German Retail Fund No. 4, which was launched in January 2020, was increased again and now stands at around 485 million euros. Equity of 258 million euros was acquired for the fund. The investment phase is expected to be completed in 2023. 

Focus on sustainability

“With the ESG-oriented optimization of food retail properties, we are also appealing to new investor groups if we succeed in sustainably developing these retail properties as long-term competitive and stable investment products,” says Freier. 

For example, the GRR Group has brought on board a joint venture partner, WI Energy, which has begun installing photovoltaic systems on all suitable roofs in its own portfolio. In addition, green spaces at the stores are being designed as bee meadows at numerous locations. 

“Food retailing has proven to be an anchor of stability in Corona times. For people, local suppliers continue to be the place where they can reliably buy groceries even in difficult times. Accordingly, investors achieve stable returns with discounters, supermarkets, and retail parks. This will also succeed in the coming year,” Führlein concludes. 

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