“Renovation and continuous improvement of the spaces and environments where we carry out our activities are some of the fundamental lines of our commitment to sustainability, the key to our management model of the three Rs-remerchandising, remodelling, and remarketing,” said Geert Paemen, Group Sustainability Director of VIA Outlets.
With a vision to refine the outlet shopping experience, VIA Outlets combines the newest innovations in technology with in-person shopping experience. This has been reflected on short-term and long-term objectives affecting strategy, governance, and ethics. The premium outlet operator has refined its previous targets using a CRREM tool (Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor) benchmarking guidance, allowing it to set longer-term targets aligned with the 1,5º Scenario of the Paris Agreement and aimeto aim towards incorporating climate-related transition risks in the portfolio strategy.
As a result of this, a broad set of initiatives are being implemented such as investment in energy efficiency measures, the installation of an on-site renewable energy generator, and sustainable heating and cooling designs.
Bringing Global Change to Retail
“Environmental criteria are enabling us to not only measure and achieve a longer lifecycle with lower maintenance costs, but also to lay the foundations for a model truly committed to the fight against climate change. In November 2021, we successfully placed the issuance of €600 million senior unsecured green bonds which attracted 190 orders from institutional investors, pioneering the first-ever green bond issued by an outlet owneroperator in Europe.” added Otto Ambagtsheer, CEO of VIA Outlets.
In addition to this, VIA Outlets applies Circular Economy principles through the application of waste hierarchy principles, to divert 87% of waste from landfill in 2021, and to engage with brand partners and guests on sustainable products.
Reducing the environmental impact of its assets is one of the key pillars of the Beyond Sustainable strategy for VIA Outlets, with 100% of its assets certified under Breeam In Use with ratings ranging from Very Good to Outstanding. By launching the Re.Love initiative, a sustainable pop-up showcasing the sustainability efforts of existing and new VIA Outlets brand partners, the company has also generated awareness around sustainability in the outlet environment .
At a global level, the company is setting its targets and defining its strategy based on international standards such as GRESB and its own commitments to its shareholders under its Green Bond Framework.