The Good We Do
At L2D, we know that sustainable businesses have a valuable role to play in communities and their economic segments. As a result, we are focused on understanding and improving stakeholder relationships. We have implemented a number of sustainability policies and work closely with the Liberty Group to progress our sustainability efforts.
Several factors which remain of utmost importance to the sustainability of the business relate to delivering value through sustainable financial results, cost management, ensuring Good Spaces and stakeholder management.
We remain committed to creating sustainable value for our stakeholders by delivering sustainable and growing returns to our investors over the medium and long term. We continue to achieve operational growth, overcoming the difficult local economic conditions that have impacted on the property sector.
Responding to an ever-changing environment is the focus of our strategy and our daily work. Following this approach, we endeavour to keep the portfolio at the forefront of retail and leisure trends and maintain operational excellence at our precinct assets.
For a more detailed overview of the financial performance of L2D, please refer to our latest financial results.
The demand for resources is fast outgrowing the limited supply and combined with the social, political and economic challenges in South Africa, increases the need to reduce the dependency on resources to engage in more sustainable, self-generation methods.
Natural capital is critical to the day-to-day functioning of our business and forms part of our strategic thinking. It is therefore imperative that we action our sustainability commitments in order to protect and preserve our natural environment, thus creating sustained value for all our stakeholders. Our bold commitments as well as the hard decisions taken, which may cost more today, contribute to the long-term sustainability of the business and are therefore key to driving growth.
Our bold commitments
While we have committed to a net zero 2030 target for all our carbon, water and waste emissions on our existing portfolio, we are making great strides towards meeting the target significantly ahead of schedule.
Our first major milestone is to move our entire portfolio to a net zero waste status by the end of 2021. Our next targets are to achieve a net zero water status by 2025 and a net zero energy status by 2030.
We are also implementing a policy to remove all single-use plastic bags from our shopping malls, which started on 1 January 2020. To increase our chance of success, we have partnered with our tenants to gain their full support. This will be followed by bans on plastic straws and balloons.
Internally, we have committed to printing less paper and increasing our efforts to recycle more. In addition, we are incorporating sustainability thinking into our procurement and purchasing policies.
We expect to obtain Green Star ratings for the entire retail portfolio by no later than Q2 2020. We have already achieved Green Star ratings at three of our buildings: Liberty regional offices at Century City and Umhlanga have each been recognised with a 4-Star certification under the Existing Building Performance category and Atrium on Fifth at Sandton City has been awarded a 4-Star Office Design and a 4-Star As Built rating.
We deliver more easily on our commitments when we have the support of our tenants and shoppers to adopt these practices in their everyday lives for the benefit of the country and ultimately the planet.
Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations developed 17 internationally recognised United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with “the aim [being] to achieve these 17 goals by 2030 with a view towards ending all forms of poverty, fighting inequalities and tackling climate change while ensuring that no one is left behind”.
We have aligned ourselves to five of these SDGs that fit the profile of our business. Our aim is to create robust assets that can benefit generations in a flexible manner, allowing for agile and adaptable environments that align to our sustainability goals.
Below are the five SDGs that are the most relevant to us and to which we aim to make a meaningful contribution:
- Goal 6 Clean water and sanitation: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
- Goal 7 Affordable and clean energy: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
- Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
- Goal 12 Responsible consumption and production: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
- Goal 13 Climate Action: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
L2D is part of a greater socioeconomic ecosystem and we recognise that we are dependent on robust relationships with all our stakeholders. We appreciate the important roles they play and remain committed to nurturing impactful, mutually beneficial relationships that combine to create sustainable value.
Our operating environment, much like the world we live in, is changing at a rapid pace. To stay relevant and ahead of competitors, we continue to drive the futureproofing of our assets and create a business that thrives in a challenging operating environment. To do this, we continue to look ahead and make it our business to understand the various trends and forces that will shape our business into the future.
Following this approach provides us with a roadmap to guide our actions. This ensures that we:
- Implement initiatives that contribute to engaging customers in a way that creates a memorable experience;
- Provide superior spaces to tenants to ensure our malls remain competitive, relevant and conducive to an increase in customer dwell time to add value to our tenants’ businesses;
- Create an environment that enables employees who are engaged, passionate and able to thrive;
- Partner with the right suppliers that contribute to L2D’s corporate procurement and enterprise supplier development;
- Deliver sustainable returns and provide timely, transparent, consistent and credible information to shareholders; and
- Create societal value and preserve our natural capital.
Investing in our communities
We are committed to investing in the communities where our businesses operate and where the portfolio is socially active. To focus our efforts, we partner with like-minded organisations to address inequality challenges that persist in South Africa and improve the quality of life of our society’s most needy.
With the support of management, our employees and the property manager are encouraged to drive social investment projects, at group level and at the individual shopping centres. We have an active community engagement strategy in place to ensure that our social investment impact is meaningful. Wherever practical or possible, we aim to facilitate socio-economic empowerment within our communities.
We are proud to have been involved in the following projects:
- We partnered with the Breast Health Foundation to give confidence back to breast cancer survivors and raise awareness further. We have made a positive impact and changed the lives of 40 women.
- We gave our support to MAD2Adventures for their MAD2RUN event, an annual fundraiser where individuals ran from Johannesburg to Cape Town in just seven days.
- We supported the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day donation drive, which organises contributions of handmade knitted blankets for donation to the needy.
- We assisted Rays of Hope, which raises funds to make a positive impact on the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children living in Alexandra, near Sandton.
- In South Africa, education and literacy in disadvantaged communities is in dire need of support. In partnership with Read to Rise, a non-profit organization, L2D supported under-resourced schools by bringing learners to Sandton and Eastgate for a day of interactive learning and supplied them with books to take home to promote youth literacy and learning.
- We addressed the needs of the some of the country’s less fortunate through one of our hotels, by donating linen and equipment that was earmarked for replacement.
- We gave our support to the Alexandra Township clean-up and community upliftment projects, which form part of a wider campaign by the City of Johannesburg.