The environmental approach of AG Real Estate

The news, but it is a habit, is anything but pleasing. Russian-Ukrainian war that threatens to spread throughout Europe, climate change that is causing an environmental crisis, health crisis…

And now we are experiencing soaring energy prices.

These difficulties remind us, in a violent way, how important it is to change our way of life… and urgently! Crazy capitalism, overconsumption, pollution, etc. lead us straight into the wall. If everyone can make a gesture, the question of the sustainable nature of housing and offices seems even more crucial. That’s why we decided to talk about it with Serge Fautré, CEO of AG Real Estate.

Let’s start by recalling what AG Real Estate is. AG Real Estate is the real estate subsidiary of AG Insurance. Their ambition is to manage a portfolio of assets in an optimal and sustainable manner. Both investors and developers, they work in Belgium (among other places) in the interest of their customers and partners. To achieve this objective, AG Real Estate has several methods: they participate in the development, investment and financing of real estate; campaign for PPPs (public-private partnerships); also manage car parks. Indeed, Interparking is a subsidiary (51%)

of AG Real Estate. In short, a company and a voice, that of Serge Fautré, its CEO, which counts.

Our interlocutor has long been aware of the climate issue and AG Real Estate’s commitment in this area dates back ten years: “It should be noted that in Brussels, a decisive impetus was given by the Minister of the Environment at the time, Evelyne Huytebroeck. Today, the performance of new buildings in Belgium has nothing to envy to our neighbours, with the exception of the Scandinavian countries which remain exemplary in this area”.

If new buildings are more energy efficient, why? “The way we build and renovate has changed. Nowadays, warehouses are very often covered with solar panels (…) Buildings are equipped with bicycle parking and terminals for electric cars (…). Car parks filter fine particles. The offices are being reorganized and taking telework into account. Circularity, too, is developing. An example: our “Arlon-Trèves” building in Brussels, which dates from the 1970s, is going to be rehabilitated instead of being demolished. It is the complete opposite of the “Brusselisation” of yesteryear”. We want to add that it was time…

But let’s come to the news and the energy crisis. On this point,

Serge Fautré is very clear: “all energy investments are profitable. As for the impact on our users, it can certainly result in an additional cost for rental or purchase, but this is offset by the reduction in consumption and therefore in energy bills”. There is food for thought and perhaps a way to reduce our bill.

However, there remains a problem: if, as we have seen, new constructions have good energy performance, the fact remains that there is a whole “per property” of old buildings that are particularly energy-intensive or, at least with a high loss, the fault of the isolation techniques of the time. So what to do? “The owners will have to act and this will not happen without the support of the public authorities who will have to put in place incentives for renovation. As for social housing, their renovation must, in my opinion, become the priority of priorities”.

The issue is complex. To get out of it, our leaders (at Belgian but also European level) will have to act, and quickly!

While waiting to learn more about the modern philosophy of AG Real Estate, we invite you, the members of the LOBBY community, to take advantage of the natural energy transmitted by Éole and Hélios.

Leave a Comment