HPP Connect & Innovate about green policies and performance

  General news, HPP Connect & Innovate (C&I)


On the 10th of March, HPP kicked off the annual main topic Climate Change. As ESG is on top of the agenda of institutional investors, our community HPP Connect & Innovate (HPP-C&I) decided to take each letter of ESG for a deep dive during three meetings coming year. The first took place at the inspiring location De Groene Afslag, with the letter G and the meeting title ‘The Green Exit: all about green policies and performance’.

Freely translated we see the governance part of ESG as the embodiment of policies and focus on how investors, builders and advisors will reach their goals on E&S topics.

First, Lucas Mol (inspirational founder of De Groene Afslag) spoke about his ‘inner’-policies (read ‘his personal circular ambition’). He took us on his life journey telling us about leaving his marketing firm to start a personal movement towards a greener and better world. How he and his wife created their energy-neutral and super green house “Molshoop” and how this led to creating the De Groene Afslag: a place to connect, get together, work, play, invent, study and learn all about becoming greener, healthier and happier by applying circular principles in a fun and artistic way.

For those of you that are curious about the Molshoop, please see the Netflix series The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, season 1, part 4, starting minute 44. To check out the inspiring location we had dinner at yesterday, check De Groene Afslag.



We had a fun and typical Connect & Innovate evening, just the way we like it…


Second, Boris van der Gijp (Director Real Estate at Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance) informed us on how Syntrus is implementing policies and what climate goals they are targeting by doing so. Super hands-on principles are implemented all across the portfolio, making Syntrus a world leader in the GRESB benchmark. Interesting was to hear about how the investor’s will to ‘do good’ is driving investment managers to lead the way in ESG investing. A subtle remark was made towards policymakers that more can be done to push the market in the right direction and speed up sustainable improvements in the built environment: Should rent indexation for example not be allowed for those properties where investors are not lowering the buildings’ energy-label?

Interesting was to hear about how the investor’s will to ‘do good’ is driving investment managers to lead the way in ESG investing.

Third, Roel de Weerd (CFO at GRESB) explained how GRESB is measuring our performance and how they supply investors with constantly improving data. Reports based on the newest legislation will simplify the investors’ data collection activities, freeing up more time for actually steering on ESG strategies and implementing ESG measures.

In between listing to the speakers, our guests enjoyed dinner and eventually were challenged to discuss several questions and statements:

  • How can circular financing (whatever that may be) be set up, to drive us away from the linear economy?
  • Did investment managers improve their GRESB ratings just by simply selling their non-sustainable assets?
  • What must valuations focus on? Reward sustainability improvements or discount the lack of improvements?
  • How can the sustainability chapter in valuation reports be highlighted?

An open discussion with all guests and speakers participating eventually led to better insights, more understanding of each other’s roles, great fun and the exchange of business cards. Individual follow-up meetings were planned, all with the aim to help each other forward.

One takeaway we agreed upon: investors are having a hard time with acting, implementing and measuring the S, social. Hence, in line with our goals to tackle all three letters of ESG, our next meeting will tackle the S. A big thank you to all speakers for their knowledge!

Interested? Read more about our community HPP Connect & Innovate.