casa verde Active real estate environmental management for ambitious climate and energy targets
Swiss Post has set itself an ambitious climate and energy target: from 2030, it intends to be completely climate-neutral in its own operations. To achieve this, Post Real Estate is making a significant contribution with the “casa verde” initiative.
The “casa verde” initiative
To ensure that Swiss Post’s real estate portfolio is fully sustainable in the future, Post Real Estate is implementing the “casa verde” initiative. This means that we are assessing several hundred buildings in stages to determine their sustainable renovation potential. Based on these assessments, Post Real Estate implements appropriate measures in a structured, cost-effective and holistic manner.
“The initiative will ensure that the planned measures are implemented in an integral, structured and economically sensible manner. This entails a comprehensive energy renovation concept for every building”.
Nadia von Veltheim, CEO of Post Real Estate
The initiative’s measures
In addition to supporting other areas of Swiss Post (e.g. by installing around 6,000 charging stations for electric vehicles throughout Switzerland or using LED lighting), Swiss Post Real Estate is focusing on effective measures in the “Energy and Buildings” and “Management and Operations” units.
Energy and Buildings
Post Real Estate builds a photovoltaic system on all suitable buildings in its sole ownership, provided the system is economical and technically feasible. Most of the energy generated is used directly in the building – only the surplus is fed into the power grid.
Post Real Estate consistently constructs buildings in accordance with the DGNB Switzerland standard and has them officially certified. For the certification process, ecological, economic and socio-cultural criteria are evaluated over the entire lifetime of a building.
The condition of the building envelope has an enormous impact on the energy efficiency of the real estate. By conducting energy-based refurbishment of older building envelopes to improve energy efficiency, Post Real Estate reduces the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling in the long term.
On premises under sole ownership, Post Real Estate now only uses systems such as heat pumps, wood pellets or district heating that work with renewable energy sources. Fossil fuel heating systems are being replaced.
The standard energy efficiency classes (A, B, C, etc.) are also used for building technology such as ventilation systems, motors, control systems, lift systems, etc. When Post Real Estate replaces such equipment, it procures a version with the best available efficiency rating.
By signing the “Circular Building Charter”, Post Real Estate has joined the Swiss Confederation, the City and Canton of Zurich and other contracting bodies in Switzerland in committing to a circular real estate industry.
The joint ambition for 2030:
- Reduce usage of non-renewable primary raw materials by 50 percent
- Greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Measure and improve the circular capability of renovations and new builds
Management and Operations
Energy management means that Post Real Estate systematically analyses energy consumption and plans and implements measures to optimize it. Effectiveness is reviewed regularly and the system is developed continuously.
Experience tells us that the energy consumption of building technology systems can be reduced by more than 10 percent with a few simple measures. That is why Post Real Estate regularly reviews around 80 percent of its own facilities and implements simple and efficient measures such as:
- Reducing the amount of water used to flush toilets
- Installing water-saving nozzles
- Controlling lighting with motion detectors
- Installing thermal insulation on pipes
- Optimizing heating control
- Regulating timer programmes based to demand
With a total of around 10,000 square meters, the photovoltaic systems on the parcel center in Härkingen are among the largest in central Switzerland. They produce electricity for around 380 average households.
The target is 6,000 charging stations throughout Switzerland: Swiss Post Real Estate already enables the Swiss Post units to charge their electric vehicles at numerous locations.
Where appropriate, lighting is controlled with motion detectors.
Energy management / energy data
Post Real Estate accurately records energy consumption for each individual building and all facilities. The data recorded are then used as the basis for measures for sustainable optimization.
New buildings in accordance with the DGNB Switzerland standard
All new buildings constructed by Post Real Estate – including the planned Volketswil parcel center (pictured) – meet the ambitious DGNB Switzerland standard. For the certification, ecological, economic and socio-cultural criteria are evaluated over the entire lifetime of a building.
Swiss Post climate and energy targets
Swiss Post has set itself best-practice climate and energy targets for 2030, which have been integrated into the corporate strategy. In this way, Swiss Post is meeting its overall responsibility for sustainability while also meeting the current requirements of the “Exemplary Energy and Climate” initiative launched by the federal government.
The Group aims to be completely climate-neutral in its own operations from 2030. The goal for 2040 is for the entire value chain to become climate neutral and to meet the net zero target.
Post Real Estate’s contribution
The “casa verde” initiative is the means by which Post Real Estate intends to meet its climate and energy targets: IMS aims to make heat generation completely carbon free in three stages. The goal is to achieve 60 percent by 2024, 80 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2040.
There are also plans to reduce the energy requirements for heat generation. The targets are one percent less by 2024 and ten percent less by 2030.