Green Cube

As a family business, we believe it is our duty to create values that coming generations will also be able to identify with.

We have been living up to this responsibility for ten years already. With our construction projects, the Green Cubes, we have come up with a sustainable concept which provides an optimum balance between functionality and environmental responsibility.

We intend to continue driving forward far-reaching and effective change in the future too, by firmly anchoring sustainability in our activities. We use the expertise we have acquired to help our customers reach their own climate-related objectives – and to contribute to a better world by taking a responsible and sustainable approach. At the same time, we recognise the positive influence and opportunities the logistics/real estate sector can offer in a sustainable economy, making us a pioneer in our industry.

 

How do we make our Green Cubes sustainable?

At Honold Green Building Development, we plan and build our sustainable logistics premises using the latest standards and the highest level of requirements. We incorporate the use of renewable, clean sources of energy and boost energy efficiency, for example, by using energy storage. Our project managers are experts in reducing costs and improving the sustainability of logistics facilities. Honold’s properties apply a wide range of environmentally friendly approaches to reduce energy consumption and costs in the long-term. We’ve been featuring these strategies in our projects for many years now.

 

For example:

  • Energy-efficient lighting: reduces energy consumption and operating costs
  • Skylights and windows: make the most of the available daylight
  • Green roofs: take the pressure off wastewater treatment plants, generate oxygen, filter contaminated air, absorb radiation and improve the climate overall
  • Rainwater infiltration on the premises: takes the pressure of infrastructure and provides the conditions for biotope-type systems on the site
  • Parking for electric vehicles and ebikes: promotes the use of low-CO2 transport
  • Car park construction: as far as is economical and technically feasible, car parks are designed to use a minimum of sealed surfaces and are built to relieve the burden on the local traffic environment
  • On-site recycling: reduces the amount of waste being disposed of in landfill or incinerators
  • Low-emission sealants, adhesives and carpets: reduce dependence on finite resources, improve air quality and promote a healthier work environment
  • High quality construction materials: increase the lifetime of our buildings
  • Recycled and locally sourced construction materials: improve our carbon footprint and support the local economy
  • Solar panels on the roofs: generate renewable energy

 

 

A practical example – the Honold biotope

A contribution to a healthy environment. Honold operates multiple biotopes, which were created by certified biotope construction organisations. Thanks to its balanced composition of species, experts have described the Honold biotope system as a “river meadow feature” and have classified it as worthy of preservation. For example, “Castor fiber” (beaver) and “Lacerta agilis” (sand lizard) are two species living in special biotopes, which have been constructed under certified supervision by Honold over an area of four hectares. Honold creates habitats for rare plants and animals. The biotope is home to a beavers’ lodge, a sand-warming zone, a stone pyramid for hiding in, and a stock of old wood. It is made up of, for example, rough pasture, marshland, streams and multiple springs, as well as valuable natural forest.

Sustainability is certified and monitored

The solutions we have implemented meet the sustainability standards of the relevant location and allow us to retain our sustainability certification. We have our project checked by experts regularly and we also use their feedback to optimise our operation. We create the framework for this with:

  • The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB): Gold / Silver certificate, for ensuring efficiency, compliance and durability
  • ISO 14001: Certification of a resource-conserving environmental management system

Climate accounting for logistics facilities

 

Behind the terms “climate accounting” and “climate neutrality” is the demand that a product or service will not result in an increase in the quantity of climate-damaging gases in the atmosphere.

The basis for the regulations comes from the international treaty on climate change, adopted in 2015 by 197 parties: the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement is a global treaty on climate change pursuing three important objectives:

  • The countries have set themselves the target of limiting global warming to “significantly below” 2°C compared to the preindustrial period. The aim is to limit the temperature increase to 1.5° Celsius.
  • The capability to adapt to the effects of climate change should be strengthened. This was established as a goal which is equally as important as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Furthermore, finance flows should be aligned with the climate targets.

Here, the real estate sector plays a critical role in achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The buildings sector has a considerable influence upon this: with 39% of CO2 emissions coming from buildings, being responsible for 36% of global energy consumption and being the source of more than 50% of all the waste generated in Germany. With our logistics facilities, we want to do our bit to achieve the sustainability targets.

 

Our climate protection roadmap

As far as production and logistics companies are concerned, CO2 emissions can be reduced either by adapting the company’s in-house processes, or by compensating for them.

Here the focus is on the process of climate accounting as a central control element. The key words here are “avoid”, “reduce” and “compensate”. These can also be found in our climate protection roadmap. Some examples are:

AVOID

  • Use of renewable energy

REDUCE

  • Minimise the energy requirement with improved thermal insulation
  • Use LED technology for lighting

COMPENSATE

  • Generate renewable energy on-site

When applying the different measures, the focus must be on what is appropriate for the situation. This is clarified in the illustration below, which shows consumption groups with different levels of automation.

Source: Initiative Logistikimmobilien Logix GmbH: Klimabilanz – Impulse für die Logistikimmobilien-Wirtschaft, 1st edition 2020, page 57

A moderate number of measures already provide the most potential for optimisation. For buildings these are, for example, the application of insulation technology and air conditioning.

The more heavily automated the process, the more the focus needs to be on the energy efficiency of the equipment used and compensation.

For us, the ESG criteria are clear guidelines for planning, implementing and operating our properties – not just in terms of ecological sustainability, but also in terms of securing sustainable investment. In future, due to diverse developments and specifications (e.g. taxonomy regulations), these criteria will play an important part in awarding logistics projects and the leasing of additional space.

 

ESG and its significance for the logistics facilities industry

Many sectors and companies say they are sustainable – without providing evidence or a basis for comparison. ESG regulations help develop a uniform understanding for commercial activities in the EU which can be truly identified as ecologically sustainable. The regulations counteract the former “patchwork” of different national identification systems and obliges companies to treat sustainability as a central and transparent criterion for their communication. ESG ratings make corporate sustainability measurable.

Essentially, sustainability is a multifaceted task and should therefore combine different aspects. The acronym ESG stands for three important elements:

  • Environment
  • Social Responsibility
  • and Governance (how a company is managed)

This means that, in the real estate sector, sustainability as a performance criterion becomes a distinguishing factor for all other asset classes, in addition to logistics.

Our role as a property developer and property manager

For a project to succeed, as a property developer we play the important role of combining and communicating all the stakeholders’ interests. In addition to communities, those involved in the project include the end users and our perspective as an investor.

As a developer, we have the task of coming up with a plan to protect the environment which incorporates all the stakeholder interests in the optimum way. We have created buildings standards which balance these out as well as possible.

Here, build-to-suit approaches are far more tangible than customer-neutral buildings, as the process automatically focuses on the user, incorporating their criteria in the planning and implementation work.

We would be happy to develop a concept with you which meets your individual requirements.

 

Get in touch with us!