• Logistics company aims to boost sustainability of operations
• EBRD financing earmarked for Hungary, Latvia, Romania and Slovak Republic
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has successfully subscribed to a €67 million ticket as part of an inaugural eight-year €600 million green bond issuance by VGP NV, a pan-European provider of high-quality logistics and semi-industrial real estate.
The Bank’s investment will support the development of sustainable semi-industrial and logistics parks in Hungary, Latvia, Romania and the Slovak Republic.
VGP has pledged that its group operations will reach net carbon neutrality by 2025 and is now working on the implementation of its decarbonization strategy. Among the numerous measures currently being introduced is the offering of green energy to its tenants. The planned new logistics parks will be certified to a minimum BREEAM rating – the world’s leading sustainability index – of “very good”, contributing to improved sustainability performance of industrial real estate in the economies where the EBRD invests and VGP operates, including in central and south-eastern Europe and the Baltic states.
The EBRD will further support VGP in exploring opportunities arising from the future deployment of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen and e-mobility technologies as well as the advancement of circular design features in order to achieve a low embodied carbon framework at the building level. These solutions are highly innovative in the EBRD regions.
Furthermore, the EBRD engagement will support the company in creating new opportunities for staff training and education, especially for young people, through a corporate-level training programme consisting of a high-quality and accredited dual learning component and an on-the-job traineeship initiative. The programme will be piloted in Romania and subsequently replicated across other VGP operations, including Hungary, Latvia and the Slovak Republic.
Vlaho Kojakovic, EBRD Director, Property and Tourism, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that more resilient, sustainable supply chains and a better logistics infrastructure are needed across the economies where the EBRD invests. VGP is at the forefront of addressing this supply gap, as well as delivering sustainable real estate needed to support new consumption patterns and maintain increased inventory levels. By investing in VGP’s green bond, the EBRD supports the development of green, high-quality buildings and logistics infrastructure, in line with the objectives of the EBRD’s Property and Tourism Strategy 2020-24 and the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach.”
Jan Van Geet, CEO of VGP, added: “As a family owned business we aim to think across generations and therefore intend to operate in a responsible and sustainable manner. We aim to build our business on the basis of mutually prosperous, long-term relationships by creating value and being a trusted partner to our customers and the communities in which we operate. In this context we are delighted to partner with the EBRD in developing sustainable industrial parks in economies where the Bank invests.”
The EBRD is a major investor in Hungary, Latvia, Romania and the Slovak Republic. To date, it has invested €15.5 billion in the four countries combined.
VGP also has a long standing presence in these countries with a focus on the development and operation of large multi-tenant business parks. As of December 2020, VGP had 13 parks in the four countries combined representing a total of over 1.3 million m2 of gross leasable area including 375,000 m2 of buildings completed, 75,000 m2 in buildings under construction and a further 880,000 m2 in development land.