EDISTON PROPERTY INVESTMENT COMPANY PLC (THE COMPANY) UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANCE OF SUSTAINABILITY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE PRINCIPLES IN THE DELIVERY OF LONG-TERM VALUE FOR SHAREHOLDERS. THIS SUSTAINABILITY POLICY HAS BEEN DEVELOPED TO PLACE ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE (ESG) FACTORS AT THE HEART OF THE COMPANY’S INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND TO GUIDE THE WAY IT OPERATES.
The Company ensures that it operates in a responsible and sustainable manner, having regard to where it has a direct and indirect impact on tenants, suppliers, customers, service providers, local communities, and the environment.
The Company, working with its Investment Manager and other agents, will:
- strive for the highest environmental standards where practicable, to minimise its environmental footprint and to manage its exposure to climate risk within the investment portfolio;
- continue to prioritise the safety of its building users and seek to maximise its social and community contribution to the markets in which it operates;
- expect the highest standards from its contractors and those involved in managing compliance, risk and safety in its portfolio;
- continue to ensure compliance with all applicable legal and other requirements with regards to its investments;
- integrate the broader social, ethical and environmental responsibilities of the Company into all its spheres of operations; and
- ensure it operates within a sound governance structure adopting, where practicable, best practice commensurate with its activities.
The Company’s efforts will be focused on four key areas:
Health, safety and wellbeing
It is a management priority to minimise risks and ensure safety and promotion of wellbeing of staff, tenants and members of the public across the portfolio.
ESG disclosure and transparency
The Company is committed to open and transparent disclosure of its operational performance and the wider impact of such performance on the environment, the communities and the markets in which it operates.
Managing environmental impacts
The Company seeks to minimise environmental impacts through proactive management of energy, waste, water, materials use and associated carbon emissions across the portfolio. It aims to enhance assets by integrating ESG into investment decisions and day-to-day management of building operations. The Company will continue with its aim of preventing pollution incidents across its portfolio.
Sustainable building design
The Company will apply sustainable design principles into development and refurbishment strategies to foster innovation, enhance the natural environment and create places that are efficient, healthy, comfortable, productive and resilient.
The Audit and Risk Committee assesses the risks faced by the Company, including ESG risks, and ensures that appropriate mitigating controls are in place and that the requirements for ESG reporting are met. The Investment Manager has responsibility for the day-to-day management and implementation of this policy.
Sound governance is at the heart of the Board’s efforts to ensure that the Company continues to meet its investment objective and policy. The Board has considered the principles set out in the UK Corporate Governance Code 2016 and the Association of Investment Companies Code of Corporate Governance by reference to the AIC Corporate Governance Guide for Investment Companies. The Company is a member of the Association of Investment Companies.
The Board is committed to the continual improvement of the Company’s operations. It will liaise with the Company’s key stakeholders on material sustainability issues to ensure it is communicating and reporting on them effectively.
The Investment Manager will report on the progress of implementing this policy to the Board at least quarterly, including on the activities of the agents of the Company in this regard. The Board has delegated responsibility for oversight of its sustainability policy on a day-to-day basis to a sustainability committee comprising the Chairman and Imogen Moss. The Board will review its sustainability policy annually.
Signed: WILLIAM HILL, CHAIRMAN
Date: 30 JULY 2020
Objectives and Targets
The Company has identified the following areas to focus on in order to make further improvements in its ESG strategy.
Health, Safety and Wellbeing
|Continue to ensure all incidents are resolved within the required timeframe||2020 onwards|
|Achieve over 90% scores on Health & Safety Risk Rating across all managed properties||2021 onwards|
|Develop a tenant and community engagement programme to promote health and wellbeing initiatives||2021|
ESG Disclosure and Transparency
|Achieve GOLD Standard for disclosing in line with EPRA sBPR||2021|
|Achieve 3-star GRESB rating||2022|
|Align the Company’s sustainability objectives with the UN Sustainable Development Goals||2020|
|Strengthen alignment with the TCFD recommendations||2020 onwards|
Managing Environmental Impacts
|Develop a sustainability action plan for all operationally managed assets||2021|
|Procure 100% renewable electricity for all landlord-controlled areas||2022|
|Achieve 10% reduction in like-for-like energy intensity for our managed offices, measured against 2019 baseline, m3/ m2||2023|
|Develop a pathway for achieving Net Zero carbon in operation||2021|
|Maintain zero waste to landfill||2020 onwards|
|Improve measurement of water consumption and waste management||2021|
Sustainable Building Design
|Commit to and promote a set of chosen standards for sustainable design for New Construction, Fit Out and Refurbishment||2021 onwards|
|Engage occupiers to support the delivery of their sustainability programmes for Fit Out and Refurbishment||2021 onwards|
*Financial year is used for measuring performance and reporting on progress against targets
SUSTAINABILITY IS A KEY CONSIDERATION FOR THE COMPANY AND ITS STAKEHOLDERS, INCLUDING INVESTORS, PARTNERS, TENANTS AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES.
Since 2019 the Company has been working with Savills on its sustainability strategy. To inform the strategy the Company has undertaken a Materiality Assessment and consulted with its key stakeholders on a wide range of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) topics. A Materiality Assessment is a means of assessing stakeholder importance of ESG issues and has helped inform the development of the Sustainability Strategy.
The material ESG issues that scored highest have been incorporated into key aspects of the sustainability strategy, including overarching policy, objectives and targets, and the alignment to appropriate UN Sustainable Development Goals. The priority issues identified were:
- Good Governance and Regulatory Compliance
- Health, Safety & Wellbeing
- ESG Disclosure & Transparency
- Managing Environmental Impacts
- Sustainable Building Design
- Climate Change Adaptation
The Materiality Matrix below shows the ‘Importance to External Stakeholders’ against the ‘Impact on Business Success’ scores. The review has been undertaken in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) methodology and ensures a number of internal and external factors are used to determine whether an aspect considered is material.
More information on the Materiality Assessment is available upon request.
Methodology Graph – The process below has been followed to inform the Materiality Assessment.
Progress and Achievements
GRESB REAL ESTATE SUSTAINABILITY BENCHMARK
- Achieved score of 69/100.
- Awarded 2 Green Stars.
EPRA SUSTAINABILITY BEST PRACTICE RECOMMENDATIONS
- Achieved the Gold Award for the last three years.
- Awarded a ‘Most Improved Award’ for 2020.
TARGETS AND 2021 PROGRESS
In 2020, we set fifteen annual and longer-term targets to support our strategic ESG objectives and drive performance across the four focus areas. Each year the targets will be reviewed, with progress reported to the Board regularly by the Investment Manager. As of the end of the reporting period, we have made good progress towards achieving most of our predefined targets.
|Focus Area||Target||Target Year||Progress|
|HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELLBEING||Continue to ensure all incidents are resolved within the required timeframe.||2020 onwards||Ongoing – no unresolved incidents within the required timeframe in 2021|
|Achieve over 90% scores on Health & Safety Risk Rating across all managed properties.||2021 onwards||80% of sites achieved Gold or Silver rating (>90% score), with two more assets achieving Gold rating|
|Develop a tenant and community engagement programme to promote health and wellbeing initiatives.||2021||Planned to complete by the end of calendar year 2021|
|ESG DISCLOSURE AND TRANSPARENCY||Achieve GOLD Standard for disclosing|
in line with EPRA sBPR.
|2021||GOLD Award received for the Company since 2020|
|Achieve 3-star GRESB rating.||2022||Achieved score of 59/100, a seven-point improvement from last year;
retained ‘Green star’ designation
|Align the Company’s sustainability objectives with the UN Sustainable|
|2020||Completed – The Company has aligned its ESG strategy and objectives to the UN Sustainable Development Goals|
|Strengthen alignment with the TCFD recommendations.||2020 onwards||Ongoing – please see page 20 for further details|
|MANAGING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS||Develop a sustainability action plan for all operationally managed assets.||2021||Developed asset sustainability plans for 10 managed assets|
|Procure 100% renewable electricity for all landlord-controlled areas.||2022||A 24% increase from 60% in 2020 to 84% in 2021|
|Achieve 10% reduction in like-for-like energy intensity for our managed offices, measured against 2019 baseline, m3/ m2.||2023||6% increase in energy intensity across our like-for-like office portfolio
in 2021 due to the loosening COVID-19 restrictions
|Develop a pathway for achieving Net Zero carbon in operation.||2021||Developed and officially approved for implementation from 2022 onwards|
|Maintain zero waste to landfill.||2020 onwards||Zero waste to landfill|
|Improve measurement of water consumption and waste management.||2021||Completed implementation of SAV IQ for environmental reporting;
further improvements in data quality and reporting processes
|SUSTAINABLE BUILDING DESIGN||Commit to and promote a set of chosen standards for sustainable design for New Construction, Fit Out and Refurbishment.||2021 onwards||Currently under development for implementation from 2022 onwards|
|Engage occupiers to support the delivery of their sustainability programmes for Fit Out and Refurbishment.||2021 onwards||Currently under review|
* We have not accounted for progress in reducing our environmental impacts as most of the EPRA environmental performance measures were impacted by the disruption caused by COVID-19, resulting in a lower demand for energy and water use, as well as waste management.