The US Green Building Council has approved Vasakronan’s two first bundles in a volume program in accordance with the international environmental classification system, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED. Vasakronan is the first company in Europe to be awarded LEED certification for existing buildings in a Volume program, and with that, 48 additional Vasakronan properties now have LEED certification, of which 90 percent at gold level. In total, 53 percent of the company’s entire property portfolio now has environmental certification. The certifications serve as both a stamp of quality and proof that the properties have a lower environmental impact.
In 2013, Vasakronan decided to certify its entire portfolio in accordance with LEED Volume, thus becoming the first company in Europe to do so. Vasakronan then set the ambitious goal of getting 50 percent of the portfolio approved by the end of 2014. On December 12 that approval arrived, which means that Vasakronan has surpassed this goal.
“In 2014, we upped the tempo considerably with the decision to obtain LEED certification for our entire existing property stock, and we are very proud to be the first company in Europe that has successfully certified 48 existing buildings using volume certification, which has saved us both time and money,” says Fredrik Wirdenius, CEO of Vasakronan.
Environmental certification strengthens Vasakronan’s environmental efforts and provides distinct business advantages. For example, since 2009, the company has reduced the energy use of its properties by 30 percent. That corresponds to annual savings of just over SEK 100 million and in 2013, energy use was 47 percent below the industry average. Furthermore, Vasakronan has had climate-neutral operations since 2008. Now, 53 percent of the portfolio has environmental certification and in 2015 another 50 properties will obtain LEED certification. The goal for 2015 is for certification of 80 percent of the properties.
“The business advantages are obvious. Environmental certification at this level is proof that also older existing buildings can be competitively strong against new ones, which of course always have environmental certification. It gives us an advantage against our competitors and it raises the value or our property portfolio,” says Fredrik Wirdenius.
Vasakronan’s environmental efforts have also paved the way for an entirely new product on the financial market, i.e. green bonds. In 2013, Vasakronan was a pioneer by being the first company in the world to issue green corporate bonds. Since then, the company has made two additional issues. The green bonds finance property investments that are environmentally sustainable and demand for the green bonds is high:
“Yes, they quickly become fully subscribed. The green bonds provide the financial market with new opportunities while helping us expand our investment base. They also help bring about a more sustainable development of society. So, everybody wins! ” concludes Fredrik Wirdenius.
About Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED
- LEED is a global green building rating system for buildings that was launched by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998.
- Every day, more than 158,000 square meters of space in more than 150 countries and territories certifies with LEED.
- Over 63,000 commercial projects are currently participating LEED, comprising nearly 1.3 billion square meters of construction space worldwide.
- Building projects earn points to achieve one of four different levels of LEED certification: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.
- LEED Volume certification meets the needs of companies and organizations that are ready to apply LEED across a portfolio of similar buildings. Using this option streamlines the LEED certification process by focusing on similarities in building design, operations and delivery.
- For organizations that certify multiple buildings within a given timeframe, this option offers valuable economies of scale for both new construction and existing buildings.
- Sweden Green Building Council is the strategic business partner for USGBC and LEED in Sweden and is continually adapting LEED for Swedish and European conditions, by developing ACP’s (Alternative Compliance Paths).
For more information, please contact:
Tel: +46 70 553 80 62
Rebecca Liljebladh Thorell
Project Manager, Corporate Communications
Tel: +46 72 222 15 09