Freeport Lisboa Fashion Outlet. Credit: VIA Outlets

VIA Outlets awarded 5-star rating in 2021 GRESB benchmark

VIA Outlets has achieved a 5-star rating in the 2021 GRESB Real Estate Assessment, following the launch of their “Beyond Sustainable” strategy.

The award is a true recognition for being an industry leader in sustainability, placing the company amongst the top 20 percent in the industry. They scored 92 points, a seven-point increase from last year and placed as number nine out of 31 non-listed European Retail Shopping Centers, reflecting its commitment to making a lasting positive contribution to the of their owned and managed outlet centers.

New strategy for sustainable shopping

VIA Outlets recently launched its sustainability strategy “Beyond Sustainable” to guide corporate activities to create an even more positive and regenerative approach to outlet shopping. The strategy is based on a 4-pillar approach encompassing a range of identified issues: Sustainable Buildings, Resilient Communities, Conscious Consumers and Engaged Stakeholders.

The company’s most recent sustainability initiative was the launch of Re.Love, a new, sustainable pop-up initiative offering sustainable collections and initiatives from existing brands and new brand partners. Two stores are already open at Freeport Lisboa Fashion Outlet and Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet in Amsterdam and further roll-out of the initiative across the rest of the portfolio will follow.

Geert Paemen, Group Sustainability Director, commented: “This year’s GRESB score is the result of VIA Outlet’s increased engagement with tenants on sustainability issues, whether it be resource consumption, shop-fits or brand partners’ responsible fashion initiatives – as well as the use of the CRREM tool to set targets for the reduction of each center’s energy consumption and GHG emissions – all in line with what is required from the commercial real estate industry to limit the effects of climate change.

Team effort for maximum outcome

“In order to continue reducing our environmental footprint and generating positive social impact, we work together with all of our stakeholder – suppliers, brand partners, guests and local authorities – as this allows us to maximize the impact of our actions. Special recognition also goes to all employees in our centers across Europe, who have each contributed to our sustainability targets within their own professional realm,” Paemen continued.

Otto Ambagtsheer, Chief Executive Officer, added: “The GRESB benchmark once again puts VIA Outlets at the top of the league in terms of sustainability, proving that our long-term commitment to sustainability and ESG initiatives is creating tangible and measurable results. This is highly encouraging as we continue implementing our sustainability strategy across everything we do as a business.”

GRESB assesses and benchmarks the environmental, social and governance performance of real assets worldwide and monitors the sector’s progress towards global sustainability goals. The GRESB Assessments are guided by what investors and the industry consider to be material issues in the sustainability performance of real asset investments and are aligned with international reporting frameworks, goals and emerging regulations.

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