12 October 2021 | 3 min.

Building a data-based climate-adaptive portfolio

The consequences of climate change are becoming more and more evident. The heat waves, long periods of drought and torrential downpours we have been experiencing recently are typical examples. This demands an effective approach in adapting to the changing climate and combating it wherever possible. We therefore focus on adapting the real estate in our portfolio to the expected climate change and related impacts. Based on data from Climate Adaptation Services, we have plotted the climate risks, at building- and plot level, on an interactive map. This provides insight into the long-term risks of climate change for our portfolio.

The four climate risks: heat, drought, flooding and extreme precipitation.

The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) has determined four overarching climate risks: heat, drought, flooding and extreme precipitation. These are the greatest climate risks to which the Netherlands is vulnerable. As a real estate asset manager, we are committed to helping make the built environment more climate adaptive. Based on data from Climate Adaptation Services' Climate Impact Atlas, which shows climate impacts today and in 2050, a dashboard has been set up in our Geographical Information System (GIS). The locations of the premises in the portfolio have been superimposed on it, showing the impact of the relevant climate risks for our entire portfolio.

Data driven climate data for our portfolio and new purchases

Combining data from Climate Adaptation Services with our own data has shown where the climate risks will have the greatest impact on our portfolio. To make this practically feasible, a.s.r. real estate’s Research & Intelligence Department has developed a model which gives a score for each overarching climate risk for each of the premises in the portfolio and gives direct measures that can be taken to improve the climate adaptation of these premises. Not only is the urgency looked at – action is also being taken. In addition to estimates of the risks for the current portfolio, all new purchases are assessed using climate data. A risk estimate is made based on the data in the GIS.

The fact that stress testing for climate risks has become increasingly important is also apparent from the introduction of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) which stipulates that this be carried out.

Climate adaptation in the centre of Utrecht

The office building on Daalsesingel in Utrecht is one of the model projects in which climate-adaptive measures have been taken based on the available data. The installation of a green roof comprising moss and sedum plants was included in the renovation plan. This roof retains rainwater so that it does not immediately run off into the sewers. The roof was also installed to prevent heat stress. Masonry buildings absorb a lot of heat and release it very slowly, so the more green on a building, the cooler it is.

Dak Kantoor Daalsesingel

Green roof on office building Daalsesingel

Cooperation with other parties

Climate change is not solely limited to our own plots and neither, of course, are the solutions, although an understanding of the consequences of climate change for our own portfolio is helpful when working with other parties. We are therefore actively seeking cooperation with tenants, municipalities and other investors to enable us to anticipate the future impacts of climate change.