8 days ago

ESG, the principles of sustainable development, have become an integral part of many companies' strategies. LemonTree, a company specializing in investments in service-logistics spaces, operates based on a sustainable business model. How can developers design and build sustainable spaces? What technologies help reduce CO2 emissions and how do they impact employee well-being? We discuss these issues with Stefania Kochaniak, an expert from LemonTree, who shares her insights into the practical implementation of sustainable development.

Stefania, thank you for taking the time to speak with us! To start, could you briefly introduce yourself and explain your role at LemonTree?

Stefania Kochaniak: Of course, with pleasure. My role at LemonTree primarily focuses on the initial stage of investment realization, the pre-development phase. What does this entail exactly? I'm responsible for assessing sites from a technical perspective for planned investments, as well as considering aspects related to sustainable development and environmental protection in our analyses. This is a crucial stage of any development project process, not only for risk mitigation but also for verifying our ability to meet our commitments within the strategic goals related to sustainable development.

So, how can developers of service-logistics spaces design and build sustainable service-logistics spaces?

Stefania Kochaniak: Sustainable design and construction of service-logistics spaces start with the selection of potential locations. It's important to choose areas that don't have significant natural value, such as degraded, post-industrial, or agriculturally low-fertility lands. This way, we limit the impact on the natural environment and avoid the destruction of valuable ecosystems.

shutterstock_2218923361Additionally, the chosen location should have good connectivity to major transportation routes, hubs, and urban centers to reduce CO2 emissions associated with transportation by shortening the distances that need to be covered. During the project phase, we analyze and verify how we can reduce the carbon footprint of the planned investment by selecting recycled materials and local resources and suppliers, which also helps support the local economy.

During the search for the right location for the investment, we also pay particular attention to the risks associated with the area. We analyze and verify not only planning, technical, and geotechnical conditions but also natural and climatic conditions, including threats such as floods, droughts, or landslides.

It's also important for us that our investments are energy-efficient – during the design phase, we consider materials with high thermal and acoustic insulation, which helps reduce energy consumption during the building's use.

So, can the location of the complex affect the reduction of CO2 emissions by reducing transportation distances?

shutterstock_2256892601-1Stefania Kochaniak: The location of the warehouse is significant for CO2 emissions. By choosing urbanized areas located near urban areas, with access to existing infrastructure and near major transport routes and hubs, we can significantly reduce the distances that delivery vehicles have to travel. By locating warehouses closer to urban areas, daily traffic associated with employee commuting is also reduced, further reducing emissions. In this way, we also limit the need for additional infrastructure expansion. This approach helps limit urban sprawl, the spreading of cities into larger areas.

What technologies lower energy costs and reduce electricity and water consumption in your investments?

Stefania Kochaniak: At LemonTree, we plan and implement a range of technologies to lower operating costs and reduce resource consumption, including photovoltaic panels, energy banks, heat pumps, BMS systems, recuperation in office areas, retention of rainwater, maximizing daylighting in loading areas, and the DALI system (digital lighting control system). These technologies, along with increased insulation of partitions, significantly reduce resource consumption and dependency on conventional energy sources.

Can service-logistics spaces be built in a way that supports the well-being of tenant employees? How important is this for you today?

Stefania Kochaniak: In our realized and planned investments, we place a strong emphasis on creating ergonomic and flexible spaces for future tenants. We address the needs of future employees, their technology-related requirements, and the comfort of building and outdoor space usage.

shutterstock_1104907439-1Employee well-being is a significant aspect of any investment for us. To create a healthy and comfortable work environment, we will design buildings where we want to implement a range of solutions to improve the quality of office, warehouse, and outdoor space usage. Among other things, we separate warehouse and office spaces, especially in terms of pedestrian and vehicular traffic areas, thereby improving user safety. Workplaces, including in the warehouse area, have above-standard access to natural light. Outdoor areas are equipped with cycling infrastructure, promoting an alternative mode of transportation to cars, which supports the creation of a healthy, sustainable community. As part of the investment, we want to provide access to biodiverse green areas that not only improve the aesthetics of the environment but also offer space for relaxation and regeneration. Focusing on the comfort of all users, we also plan to implement external social-sanitary spaces for drivers and design solutions that eliminate architectural barriers, ensuring comfortable use and easy access to the entire complex for people with disabilities.

Can developers support tenants in resource management by, for example, providing infrastructure for waste segregation and the use of renewable energy?

Stefania Kochaniak: As developers, we have a significant impact on shaping ESG trends and the ability to educate and support the market in sustainable development actions. When carrying out investments, we assume the analysis of technological possibilities, the search for and creation of solutions that will facilitate resource management for users – we want to support our tenants in this area. In our buildings, we also install photovoltaic panels and other systems for renewable energy production, enabling the use of clean energy sources. In the face of today's global challenges, this is particularly important for us – this is also confirmed by inquiries and discussions with our customers. This is an area that we want to continue to deepen, thereby offering new technologies, staying ahead of the warehouse market, and creating greater demand for sustainable properties.

shutterstock_2261372101-1The practical application of similar solutions is important to us, so we will pay particular attention to data collection and analysis of their effectiveness – so that potential customers are aware of the benefits they are dealing with. As a result, companies renting our spaces will be able to achieve their ESG-related goals, using infrastructure that supports sustainable resource management and ensures energy efficiency.

In addition to implementing sustainable investments, we plan to conduct training and support programs for employees in line with our sustainable development strategy initiatives. This will allow them to develop professionally and become experts in the warehouse market in terms of ESG strategies – as a result, they will be able to educate and support our partners, clients, or tenants.

Thank you for the conversation and valuable information!

Stefania Kochaniak: Thank you very much! It was a pleasure to share our experiences and plans.