Cibus’ contribution to sustainable growth consists of efforts to create accessible and climate-smart marketplaces for end-consumers. Cibus’ entire property portfolio is leased primarily to quality daily goods retailers with ambitious sustainability objectives. In its ongoing operations, Cibus works to facilitate tenants ’sustainability improvements and to invest in properties that improve end-consumers’ accessibility to marketplaces. Sustainability work is conducted as an integral part of Cibus’ ongoing operations. Work focuses on three areas: Being a sustainable partner, Having the climate in focus and Offering accessible marketplaces. The focus of the sustainability work was determined by the Board of Cibus in 2019. In connection with this, a number of sustainability targets were also set.
The main environmental goal is to reduce the climate footprint of Cibus’ properties and the ongoing operations at the two offices. Cibus’ climate footprint is dominated by heating and electricity consumption in the properties owned by the Company, which is determined entirely by the tenants since the properties are leased without heating or electricity being included in the rent. Cibus can influence the climate by prioritising tenants seeking to reduce their climate footprint, as well as being accommodating in handling requests for remodelling or extensions to the properties to enable investments in renewable energy sources. In 2018, electricity consumption in 85% of the property portfolio amounted to 128,736 MWh. Solar panels were installed on the roofs of several properties. Furthermore, more environmentally friendly light sources have been installed in a large part of the property portfolio. Electricity consumption in the current operations amounted to 1,205 KWh. For the electricity consumed at the offices in the ongoing operations, power is purchased only from companies guaranteeing that their electricity is generated entirely from renewable sources.
During 2020 we have issued our first green bond to finance our energy-efficient buildings. We have issued SEK 600 million, corresponding to approximately EUR 60 million of a portfolio of energy-efficient properties valued at a total of above EUR 200 million.
Satisfied and committed employees are crucial for Cibus’ success. This is achieved through a sound and secure working environment and by encouraging wellness. In 2020, Cibus’ personnel comprised seven employees with a gender distribution of 43% women and 57% men. The size of the organisation means that individual employees have a considerable impact on the operations.
Another example of Cibus Social responsibility work is that we have chosen to provide support for our smallest-scale tenants during the Covid-19 pandemic to strengthen the local community.
Most of Cibus’ tenants are part of high-quality daily goods chains, which themselves have ambitious objectives regarding their external impact. In an effort to best find solutions to tenants’ challenges, Cibus engages in dedicated and present property management. As a property owner, a key measure in meeting the right needs is to maintain ongoing sustainability discussions with the chains. Cibus, as a long-term partner with a good awareness of the daily goods industry, is able to offer its tenants innovative and commercial arrangements. This stimulates tenants’ sustainability work while improving Cibus’ ability to both extend leases and acquire new properties. Crucial to Cibus entering into these long-term relationships is the Company’s capacity to be a stable and sound partner, as well as a respectable player in the property sector. Accordingly, a priority within Cibus is to conduct operations characterised by clear principles of business ethics, without risking suspicion of, for example, corruption, questionable tax arrangements or lack of integrity. Cibus’ ability to achieve set financial targets while providing transparent and accurate market information has a significant impact on the Company’s reputation, particularly with regard to the Company’s continued access to the capital market.
In order to minimise the operations’ negative impact on the environment and global climate trend, continuous efforts are being conducted to minimise the direct and indirect climate footprint of the properties, since the footprint of the Company’s own operations is marginal. Cibus can, through various means, stimulate tenants to reduce their climate footprint, despite the fact that the properties are leased on contracts exclusive of heating and water, meaning that Cibus does not control their electricity consumption. An example of such a tool is to be quick and accommodating of tenants’ requests for permits regarding redevelopment and extension of the properties to facilitate investments in renewable energy. At present, several of the properties leased to Tokmanni have had solar panels installed on the roof. In line with lower investment costs for solar energy, however, the proportion is expected to increase, thereby reducing electricity consumption. Another means is to gradually rejuvenate the property portfolio in connection with acquisitions and investments, which helps to reduce the property portfolio’s climate footprint. In addition, continued investment in highly accessible properties contributes to continued shop openings and, for end-consumers, to a healthier climate footprint because they do not need to travel to the shop or services.
Investing in daily goods retail properties in favourable geographical locations with the potential to develop into key marketplaces is a conceptual cornerstone of Cibus’ business. Our property investments safeguard vibrant local communities for people who thus gain a safe place in which to conduct their errands. By establishing and strengthening these local communities adjacent to residential areas and in locations with public transport connections, as well as in smaller towns, end-consumers gain access to services, groceries and deliveries in places to which they can walk, ride a bicycle or take public transport. The trend is reinforced by Cibus’ efforts to actively rent out premises for complementary service and in other ways increase the attractiveness of the marketplaces. In urban areas, Cibus therefore invests in properties located near commuter railway stations or other public transport connections, which is an important prerequisite for the development of the marketplace and the ability of end-consumers to conduct their errands without causing a greater climate footprint than necessary. In smaller towns, the daily goods store represents an important social function, as it usually attracts other services and shops, and local residents avoid having to travel to a neighbouring town conduct their errands.
To a large extent, sustainability work is an integral part of Cibus’ operations to such an extent that, for example, important sustainability aspects are included in the decision-making documentation for a property transaction, and that, in several respects, tenant-related property management results in sustainable solutions. These efforts can, however, be both improved and strengthened through clearer governance, which was partly the purpose of setting sustainability targets at the beginning of 2020. The intention is to start following up the results of Cibus’ efforts to achieve its targets as of 2020, by means of practical measurements, for example.
As a responsible company, Cibus shall be involved in propelling development towards a sustainable society. Cibus supports the principles of the UN Global Compact and seeks to contribute to the global agenda in line with the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals.