Redevco has initiated a solar installation project with one of its behalf of one of its investor clients as part of the European real estate investment manager’s commitment to making its entire portfolio net zero carbon by 2040.

The €7.5bn manager said it has joined forces with COFRA Holding to begin Project Solar, a large-scale on-site renewable energy generation project.

The project aims to ramp up the provision of on-site clean energy generation by installing solar panels on the roofs and car parks of the retail park assets that Redevco manages on behalf of COFRA Holding in Belgium.

In November 2019 Redevco, which manages close to 300 assets, announced its commitment to making its entire portfolio net zero carbon by 2040 as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to act responsibly and reduce its impact on the environment.

The first solar panel array was recently installed on the roof of a Decathlon building on the outskirts of the Belgian city of Hasselt. 

Clemens Brenninkmeijer, head of sustainable business operations at Redevco, said: “Project Solar is a necessary step on our journey to becoming net-zero carbon across our portfolio.

“Our retail parks in Belgium consist of large properties built on substantial pieces of land and thus offer ample space to accommodate solar installations.”

“Our investor client COFRA has been very supportive of the initiative, with a commitment for an initial 12 sites which we look forward to deliver on, and thereafter exploring additional projects together.”

Jheroen Muste, chief strategy officer at COFRA Holding, said: “This new collaboration signals COFRA’s commitment to clean energy and climate change and further demonstrates that by working together with Redevco and in partnership with their tenants, it’s possible to accelerate the green transition.”

Yves van Herpe, sustainability manager at Redevco Belgium, said: “Mission 2040 has inspired us to think outside the box together with our tenants, looking at how we can make our retail properties more ‘green’.

“At Decathlon Kuringen (Hasselt), we went beyond installing solar panels on the roof. As part of the entire redevelopment of this property, we also invested in the outside areas where we created ‘wadis’ – used for the buffering and infiltration of rainwater – and installed LED lighting, electric car charging points and extensive bike parking.”