18 september 2019 | 3 min.

Bricks and Behaviour: two building blocks for a sustainable portfolio

Managing a real estate portfolio nowadays can’t be done without emphasis on sustainability. Public opinion, awareness and regulations on sustainability all indicate the necessity to build a future-proof living environment. The ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund acknowledges the urgency of contributing to a more sustainable environment, and its real estate (bricks) and tenants (behaviour) are the main building blocks for achieving this goal.


Since managing real estate is our core business we put a great emphasis on building a sustainable real estate portfolio. As well as adding new highly sustainable buildings to our portfolio, we also renovated and improved 900 existing dwellings. These dwellings are spread throughout the Netherlands and can be found in Amsterdam, Breda, Hilversum, Nieuwegein, Rosmalen, Utrecht and Zeist. During these renovation projects we improve insulation, heating systems, apply HR++ glass and PV panels wherever feasible.

As a result, the energy index of our portfolio has improved massively. We expect to achieve an average energy index of 1.22 by the end of 2019 (we started at 1.52 in early 2017). 90% of the dwellings in our portfolio will have a Green Label (EPA label C or higher) by the end of 2019. We are determined to keep making progress and we are currently studying the options for renovating an additional 200 dwellings.

Amsterdam, Staalmeesterlaan, Renovatie BAM, ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund

Renovation Staalmeesterlaan, Amsterdam


It’s certainly true that ‘together we achieve more’: we can put a lot of effort in renovating our existing real estate, but to make a real impact we need the users, our tenants, too. To encourage more sustainable behaviour, several initiatives have been rolled out.

One of these initiatives is the CSR bag. So far, we have provided 1500 tenants with a CSR bag. This is a jut bag which contains sustainable goodies (like an LED bulb, ecological dish soap and an eco-plug) as well as tips and tricks to encourage more sustainable choices. Another example of encouraging behavioural change is the Energy Battle at the Lamerislaan in Utrecht. This initiative was used to create awareness among tenants about their energy consumption and to provide them with suggestions for lowering their energy use.

MVO Tassen ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund

Distributing CSR bags to tenants on a Saturday 

In addition to all that, sustainability has become an integral part of our rental agreements. Two clauses have been added to our rental agreements to encourage sustainable behaviour. The first focuses on smart energy meters. It obliges tenants to cooperate in the reading-out of the data. The other clause provides a set of measures to be implemented by the tenant on a best-effort basis. Examples of those measures include the use of LED-lights, energy-efficient equipment, using green energy, waste separation, water-saving measures, and the use of eco-friendly cleaning products.
Going forward, we will continue to focus on both ‘bricks’ and ‘behaviour’. We believe that the combination of these two building blocks will help us make the biggest impact on the living environment of our tenants and to build a futureproof and sustainable portfolio.