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Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Bucharest, Bratislava, Zagreb, Belgrade

CEE retail market goes green as 1.4 million sq m of retail schemes already have green certification and 440 000 sq m are in the process

According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s Retail: Going Green in CEE report

Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Bucharest, Bratislava, Zagreb, Belgrade, 12th April 2013 - Jones Lang LaSalle publishes its new report on sustainable retail development in Central and Eastern Europe. The research paper covers the latest challenges and opportunities for developers, landlords, owners and retailers with regards to EU green legislation and gives practical tips to companies needing to adapt their real estate portfolio in order to obey the current legal and environmental conditions.

Going green: challenges and opportunities for CEE retail real estate market
According to the Directive 2010/31/EU, by the year 2020, all new buildings in the European Union will have to prove that they are nearly zero-energy buildings. By the year 2050, carbon emissions from all buildings need to be as near to zero as possible.

Paweł Warda, Head of Project and Development Services CEE, Jones Lang LaSalle, comments: “Over the course of this decade, existing properties and those in the pipeline will be put to the test, from an environmental stand-point by those looking to own them, manage them and occupy them. All real estate sectors need to adapt to the upcoming legislative changes in the area of sustainable development, energy consumption and occupation which should come into force in the European Union over the few next years. To reach these goals, significant changes to current practices need to be made and some challenges are expected to appear.”

In terms of retail, it is worth mentioning that shopping centres have, to some extent, lagged behind offices in the move towards sustainability. In part, this stems from the design and purpose of shopping centres, which are often very large, brightly lit properties, with large open spaces, with customers coming and going for more than 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. From a sustainability perspective, these trading conditions may appear challenging when trying to maintain a comfortable environment for visitors, while seeking ways in which to reduce energy consumption.

Kevin Turpin, Head of Research, CEE, Jones Lang LaSalle, comments: “Sustainability and attitudes towards green buildings are rapidly increasing in Central and Eastern Europe. Green building certification is a way in which developers, occupiers and related organisations can demonstrate their commitment to bringing sustainability to the built environment. The two most well-known and popular systems are LEED and BREEAM, which both have similar goals: popularization of good practices in sustainable buildings and ensuring comparable assessments of green buildings worldwide. The majority of certification methods also have options to improve and certify sustainable improvements to existing buildings in operation, such as BREEAM In-Use and LEED EB:OM (Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance). One example of such improvements is finding alternative energy saving solutions, including replacing standard lights with modern LEDs, which predominantly helps in the reduction of electricity-continued-consumption, heat generation and therefore energy bills”.

Poland leads the region
In the CEE region, there is currently over 1.4 million  sq m GLA of existing certified retail space in 33 schemes, including shopping centres, retail parks, Cash & Carry; and factory outlets. When considering just the shopping centre GLA, 5.5% (926,000 sq m) of the total volume (16,750,000 sq m) in CEE was secured with some form of certification. Poland leads the region in terms of sustainable retail with 16 shopping centres (ca. 720,000 sq m) and 12 Cash & Carry stores operated by Metro (ca. 460,000 sq m). BREEAM certified buildings have the highest presence in the region followed by DGNB.

In terms of new supply (under construction or near completion), there are currently 12 retail schemes with a total GLA of almost 440,000 sq m, at different stages of acquiring green certification: BREEAM(8), LEED(3), DGNB(1). Although the majority of these schemes are shopping centres, the total includes one retail park and what will also be the first green certified factory outlet in the region. Poland will maintain its leading position with an additional 4 schemes, with the Czech Republic just behind with 3. Serbia and Hungary will both add to their green supply, while Slovakia is targeting its first green certified shopping centre.
Pavel Schanka, Head of Property Management CEE, Jones Lang LaSalle summarises:  “A sustainable building will quite quickly come to mean a quality building. Energy savings in building design and operations represent one of the greatest potentials to reduce carbon emissions and save money. Buildings that perform at a more sustainable level attract stronger tenants; have better occupancy, all of which have the potential to translate into increased building asset value. From the tenants’ perspective, unlike the office market where a company’s staff is usually the highest cost to the business, overheads such as rent, energy and water service charges prove to be the costliest in a retail environment. Green developments consume less water and energy, providing savings not only to the owner of the property, but also for tenants paying lower service charges than in typical retail schemes. In an era of cost-cutting, where consumers demand more for less, this is a considerable and measurable advantage”.