A building can be "green" with technology and also with efficient management
The principles of sustainable development were the main topic in the most important forum for investment and real estate - BalRec, which took place on October 26. During her participation in the panel "Green Change, ESG, Sustainability and Green Investments" Liliya Krasteva, CERES Country Head for Bulgaria and Head of Property Management shared her expertise on the principles, models and environmental sustainability in the real estate sector. She emphasized the importance of environmental, social and governmental criteria, which need to be at the heart of any company's business model. "Since long time, the Revetas Capital Group and we from CEERES Management, as part of the group and property managers of its portfolio, we are focused on applying the principles of sustainable development, taking into account the environmental, social and governmental criteria in the company's business. Only 1% of the buildings in Bulgaria have a zero footprint, which is very bad. They all generate huge costs - heat, cold, waste energy, water, paper, etc. It is important for us that our investments bring long-term positives to the environment and the social field.
Building A02 of Sofia Airport Center is the first building in Sofia with a LEED gold certificate (since 2012). Our entire team has accepted as its mission to minimize the footprint we leave on nature," said Krasteva.
Not only the high technological level is decisive for a building to be "green" and to leave a zero mark. According to Krasteva, its management also plays a key role. It is also important that tenants and visitors are encouraged and reminded to save resources. She explained that some of the practices they apply are: the use of energy-efficient equipment, photocells for sinks, which release water only when reading the movement in front of the photocell and prevent water wastage, reducing electricity consumption and heating through innovative management solutions of technologies in the building - management of heating and ventilation, more care for the removal of contaminants from oils, chemicals, toxic technological waste and others.
These and other sustainable development practices have long been introduced in the properties managed by CEERES. We are also working on the possibility for tenants and visitors to have the opportunity to dispose of batteries, equipment and hazardous waste in specially designated areas. This is extremely important because it is this waste that is directly related to environmental pollution.
It is important to apply the principles of social responsibility to employees, partners, subcontractors and visitors. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the need for a secure environment leading and Sofia Airport Center is the holder of the Safe Guard certificate: “We meet these requirements even before the first lockdown. The principles of caring for people have been leading in our work for a long time. And when the pandemic caught up with us - we just didn't want anyone to get sick," said Krasteva. She stressed that companies that have started to strive for a zero footprint on their own initiative need to be really stimulated.
Sofia Airport Center is one of the first office projects in Sofia, which invests significantly in the overall development of the business park to adequately meet the post-pandemic requirements of its tenants. The Flex-R lounge opened in September. It is the first phase of the overall strategy for renovation and improvement of the common areas in the complex. Its mission is to encourage companies and their employees to expand beyond their traditional workspace, whether in the new lounge area, on a park bench or around a lake.
Peter Wojtusiak, Senior Advisor at Revetas Capital, also joined the panel "Industrial and logistics: The future of supply chains and the effect on I&L assets". He shared an expert opinion on real estate investments in the logistics sector and pointed out the trends in modern industrial and logistics facilities and parks. "We are lucky that the location of SAC is so good from a logistical point of view and from the point of view of its proximity to the airport. Although SAC is located relatively far from the city center, we still have the opportunity to attract potential tenants, which is a real advantage. Sofia is very similar to other cities in Central and Southeastern Europe. All the problems we encounter in Prague, Warsaw and Budapest are no different from the ones we face here. What we like in Sofia is that we have the opportunity to get a relatively good return, so we will certainly continue our development here in the long run." - said Wojtusiak.
BalRec is the most influential and significant forum, which provides an opportunity for leading market participants to discuss current topics and trends in the industry. The thematic panels involved experts who are responsible for the largest projects and transactions in the real estate and investment sector.