PensionDanmark Wins IPE Real Estate Award with Sustainable Method
Stockholm (NordSIP) – PensionDanmark received the IPE (Investment & Pensions Europe) award for Best Alternatives Strategy at the IPE Real Estate Global Awards held in Milan last week for its “strategic dedication to Corporate Social Responsibility [CSR] and sustainability” in its role as a builder and property investor.
PensionDanmark is one of the largest pension funds in Europe, serving some 700,000 members and with €30.1 billion in AUM. It was previously awarded the IPE prize for “European Pension Fund of the Year” in November 2017, also based on its investments in sustainable infrastructure.
The Best Alternatives Strategy category was in competition for the first time. PensionDanmark was found to be the property investor that best managed to integrate alternative investments in niche markets such as residential housing, student housing and housing for the 50+ segment, while pursuing long term objectives of solid returns and low risk.
PensionDanmark started developing its own uniquely tailored sustainability program in 2017, which sets specific requirements for everything from construction site working conditions to social sustainability to the choice of environmentally friendly solutions and materials.
“Many of the people who work on the construction sites that we invest in are also PensionDanmark members, which means we have a natural incentive to have strict building requirements,” Marius Møller, PensionDanmark director for real estate investment, told NordSIP. “It also goes hand in hand with good financing to do so sustainably, which creates better products, better quality and better solutions, for example in improved green energy supplies or waste disposal.”
For Møller, the success of the fund’s real estate segment is partly due to always moving concepts forward and evaluating how they best can be combined to provide both the most sustainable experience and new ideas moving forward. So, for example, PensionDanmark invests in multiple types of housing for different age groups and needs, while bringing its sustainability methods to bear across each type of project.
Conceptualisation also involves interviewing and surveying the tenants of its real estate projects. For an upcoming project to provide housing for students at Denmark’s technical university, for example, students are interviewed to determine how best to combine community and sustainability in the building process, Møller explained.
The IPE jury accordingly emphasised PensionDanmark’s innovation in its “diversified alternative investment strategy for properties focusing on market development and custom-designed products”. The prize is also a motivation for PensionDanmark CEO Torben Möger Pedersen to set new standards for sustainability real estate investment.
“We will continue to be at the forefront of investing in and developing sustainable property. We have proven that we take our social responsibility seriously and contribute to visible results in everything from climate to the on-site conditions for apprentices. Smart efforts on sustainability go hand in hand with quality and good returns for our members,” Pedersen said.
PensionDanmark’s objective is to invest 20 per cent of its assets in real estate and infrastructure, where sustainable real estate is the focal point of PensionDanmark’s investment and value strategy. Social responsibility and a holistic approach to quality results in attractive housing with satisfied tenants and owners is a solid basis for good returns over a broad time horizon, the fund holds.
The value of PensionDanmark’s property portfolio amounted to DKK18.5 billion by end 2017.
Image: (c) PensionDanmark