Management Board statements
Our business revolves around consumers, and the typical consumer these days is becoming less interested in the brand of a t-shirt and more interested in where it comes from. Sustainability in the environmental and social sense is becoming more and more part of the brand mission of products and consumption patterns. It’s about the whole package: design, quality and sustainability. Products, whether fashion or food, are more than ever becoming a way for consumers to express what they stand for in life, their values. There is a growing sense of responsibility in society, both from the side of consumers and from retail companies. This is an opportunity for us to align our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy to that of our main customers. Our success, now and in the future, rests on it.
Reflecting on the year past, we are happy to see our CSR strategy and execution evolving towards quality: quality of operational management, quality of buildings and quality of retail services. Some of our efforts were recognised by the outside world too in 2013. We are very proud of the CNCC award for Marseille Grand Littoral in the category sustainability, especially since it was an effort done together with tenants and suppliers, but also involving visitors. Corio Nederland won the ICSC Solal marketing award in the category Cause Related Marketing with Mums with Guts, proving that a good cause can excellently be combined with a successful marketing strategy. I guess those two examples show what CSR for us is all about: quality and meaning.
Sustainability is growing in relevance for our investors and shareholders too. We are therefore proud to have been included in a new ESG index: Euronext Vigeo Eurozone 120. We see this as a reward for our ongoing efforts to improve our CSR performance and fully integrate CSR into the way we do business. We maintained our inclusion in all main ESG indices, including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe and World.
Despite of our efforts and results, we see there is much still to be achieved and we are transparent about what did not go as well as we hoped. We did not manage to maintain our Green Star status in the GRESB benchmark. We know, however, exactly where we need to improve in the coming year and have a plan ready for execution. This fits in perfectly with our plan for 2014 to integrate sustainability further into operations: making it part of the day-to-day work of the people at the centres and by making the business case even more tangible for every business discipline. Next year, 2014, will be about focus and operational performance.
On behalf of the Management Board, I hope you enjoy our CSR report 2013.
Gerard Groener, CEO Corio N.V.