VanWonen first area developer with ESG Score
News item, Healthiest Generations
VanWonen is the first area developer in the Netherlands to receive an ESG Score. The area developer engaged Sustainalytics, which calculated an ESG Score of 21.2. This score shows the extent to which VanWonen explicitly takes into account the impact of its operations on the environment, people and society, in addition to financial returns and risk.
VanWonen’s decision to request an ESG Score is in line with its strong focus on social and sustainable ambitions, both in its projects and business operations.
Alfred Bolks, Chief Executive Officer of VanWonen: “As VanWonen, we are making an accelerated move from sustainable to ESG. As part of this, we decided to already have an initial assessment done. We are convinced that our entire sector will eventually have to make a start with this. As a benchmark, we are not dissatisfied with this outcome. Our ESG policy is already solid. But we can do better, and of course we are striving for that. To have someone to help us with this, and to keep us on our toes, is therefore a good thing. We recently freed up Marcel de Ruiter and appointed him to the role of ESG Manager. In recent years, he combined the role of sustainability manager with his position as a project developer. With this appointment, VanWonen’s ambitions in the area of ESG are given full attention and we can go full steam with it.”
ESG Risk Score starting point for improvement
VanWonen’s mission is to create homes and living environments for the healthiest generations. This requires a focus on all aspects of ESG. In addition to sustainability in projects, for customers and in our business operations, ESG adds social impact and good corporate governance. The VanWonen ESG programme focuses on three pillars:
- Living up to our sustainability ambitions, by having our performances assessed and rated through the ESG Score, after which we can fine-tune our targets annually.
- Anticipating the (European) regulations on ESG, and as such being trend-setting.
- Ensuring the wellbeing of people and planet in our projects and corporate culture, setting us on the route to a carbon-neutral built environment and carbon-neutral business operations.
Marcel de Ruiter, ESG Manager at VanWonen, adds: “The first ESG Score has given us a good picture of how sustainable we are with respect to environmental, social and governance issues. With our first score, we are among the top 43% globally in the category of property developers. From now on, we want to learn every year, stepping up on our ambitions and improving our score. In this process, we are also preparing for the upcoming laws and regulations regarding EU taxonomy and CSRD. This year is all about making improvements, so that next year we will reach the ‘low risk’ zone (range 10-20). That is probably the most that area developers can achieve.”
About Marcel de Ruiter
Marcel de Ruiter (46) has worked at VanWonen since its inception, as a Project Developer. In that role, he was responsible for many projects in and around Zwolle, including many projects in Stadshagen, the Kraanbolwerk project and the Willemskwartier area development in the Zwolle Spoorzone. In recent years, the sustainability portfolio was added to his responsibilities. Under his direction, VanWonen launched its Sustainability Manifesto in 2020, putting the well-being of people and planet at the heart of all projects. As ESG Manager, Marcel is now responsible for all ESG aspects within VanWonen. Determining, establishing, driving and measuring corporate policy and ambitions. This year with an ESG assessment and rating for the first time, and with VanWonen preparing for upcoming European legislation on reporting guidelines. In addition, Marcel is the ESG advisor for colleagues and clients on area developments, projects and tenders.
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