The annual reporting of sustainability aspects is part of the strategy that One United Properties adopted at the end of 2021, following the decision to join the UN Global Compact, the world's largest sustainability initiative. As a next step in the sustainability journey, the company will kick off the ESG rating process with one of the major rating agencies. The rating will be made public.
"In 2021, we made significant steps in terms of our sustainability commitment: we continued our focus on responsible construction where majority of the waste is diverted, we invested in the first historical landmark restoration, laid the foundations of our partnership with Veolia for implementing the latest renewable energy solutions at our residential developments, committed that new office developments will meet the net zero carbon emissions standards, elaborated a new Code of Conduct for our suppliers, as well as set the premises for the first ESG Committee of a Romanian public blue chip company, just to mention a few highlights. We will continue these efforts in 2022 since we are convinced that sustainability is directly related to the idea of doing business responsibly,"
said Victor Capitanu, co-CEO of One United Properties.
During the process of preparing the 2021 Sustainability Report, the management identified topics of crucial importance to the company and all the stakeholders – shareholders, prospective investors, and capital market analysts, clients, employees, collaborators, contractors and suppliers, and media. Sixty-six stakeholders participated in the sustainability survey, based on which the materiality matrix outlining the priority areas was prepared. Quality infrastructure, the energy efficiency of the developments and responsible construction were indicated by the stakeholders as the key priority areas for One United Properties, all falling under the environmental strategy. These were followed by the social criteria: implication for society, urban regeneration, good health, and well-being of tenants and residents.
One United Properties environmental strategy includes development of a 100% Green Homes certified residential portfolio, a 100% LEED and WELL certified office portfolio, as well as a pledge that all new office developments will meet the LEED Zero Carbon standards. Moreover, at the beginning of 2022, One United Properties launched a partnership with Veolia to bring to future developments: One Lake District, One High District, One Lake Club and One Peninsula, the most advanced and environmentally friendly source of energy – the geothermal heat pumps. At the level of construction phase, approximately 65% of the waste generated on the nine construction sites where One United Properties developed in 2021 was diverted – reused, recycled, or repurposed, instead of being buried in the landfill.
On the social side, 2021 marked a new milestone in the history of One United Properties as the company deployed, for the first time, capital in historical landmarks restoration, following the acquisition of Casa Braikoff. The historical location is undergoing complete refurbishment and will be known as One Athenee. Furthermore, in March 2022, One United Properties acquired the former Ford Factory, located within One Floreasca City, which will be restored and transformed into a retail space, One Gallery. Over the next two years, One United Properties estimates investments of a minimum of 70 million euros in the urban regeneration of abandoned historical landmarks in Bucharest, with the purpose of protecting and regenerating the cultural heritage of Romania’s capital.
In terms of governance, the company's efforts as an employer, business partner and public company are centred on ensuring a safe environment for all employees and collaborators and championing equality. Therefore, as part of the sustainability strategy, in 2021 One United Properties developed new Code of Conduct for suppliers. As of 2022, all One United Properties suppliers and partners will have to commit to ensuring full respect for human rights, highest occupational health and safety norms, as well as ethical standards in their conduct.
In terms of corporate social responsibility, in 2021 alone, One United Properties donated 1.4 million euro to supporting local associations and charitable projects. The company's CSR strategy is oriented around three verticals: urban regeneration and environmental protection, where One United Properties made total donations of 1.1 million euros; education, sports, and entrepreneurship, where the support amounted to 250K euro; healthcare and research, where the company donated 17.5K euro last year to several causes.
The 2021 Sustainability Report of One United Properties was prepared using Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards and is available HERE. The ESG Committee to the Board of Directors, which is responsible for defining One United Properties’ sustainability strategy, oversaw the preparation of the report.