Sustainable development: a strategic direction

Posted: 2 June, 2020 Categories: Environment, News
 

The sustainable development strategy of Société Privée de Gérance (SPG), as a socially responsible agency, is a natural extension of the intuitive concepts that were already in evidence when the company was founded in 1960. The agency’s actions are guided by the three inseparable, crosscutting dimensions of sustainable development.

 

We build, we renovate, we create value, and we preserve the planet.

 

 

1. Economic performance and development

As one of the largest real estate agencies in Geneva, we make every effort to ensure that our projects are guided by a sustainable vision. We enjoy a high degree of autonomy as a result of our family shareholder structure, and we actively participate in the economic development of our region by creating jobs and commissioning work. As such, we make it a priority to ensure that our activities benefit our community.

We employ more than 160 people in Geneva and collaborate with a staff of roughly 300 custodial workers who are responsible for maintaining the properties we manage.

Photos des concierges de la SPG

In 2018, our agency piloted the construction of approximately 550 apartments and 30,000 m² of retail space, commissioning more than CHF 10 million in work and maintenance from local companies.

Moillebeau 53

 

2. Commitment to the environment

At SPG, we are always mindful of our impact on the environment and we demonstrate our commitment to this fundamental responsibility through regular actions and innovative projects.

In 2020, on the occasion of the company’s 60th anniversary, we made the decision to sponsor tree planting in the Amazon rainforest, specifically in the Brazilian state of Rondônia. For every contract that is signed—whether a lease agreement, sales contract or labour contract—a tree is planted in the Amazon rainforest. This is an effective, concrete way for our agency to reinforce its commitment to environmental protection, while getting tenants, owners and new employees involved. Interested parties can follow the progress of the reforestation project on the SPG website and the webpage dedicated to the partnership.

Projet un contrat/un arbre

 

In January of 2018, SPG received the Watt d’Or award from the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (OFEN) for the company’s commitment to making boiler rooms more efficient.

Our commitment to the environment is also demonstrated through the following actions:

Mastery of our carbon footprint: our overall goal is to reduce our CO2 emissions by 20 percent by the end of 2020.

Supervision and improvement of the real estate holdings we manage: with the aid of our Environment and Energy Departments, as well as SPG Prorenova, we prioritise energy-efficient renovations to the greatest possible extent. By doing so, we make the property more comfortable and cost-effective, prolong its life, and increase its value, while also benefitting from tax deductions.

Transmission of our expertise to our clients: we advise our managers in the course of their operations and organise regular training sessions on various topics, including heating systems and risks related to hazardous substances. Furthermore, we raise awareness among our apartment owners and tenants regarding the workings of an efficient building in order to promote energy savings while enhancing user comfort.

Bâtiment de la SPG à Genève

 

The renovation of our group’s corporate headquarters in Geneva enabled us to save 68 percent on our heating and hot water costs.

 

3. Social responsibility

 

We are number one when it comes to training interns in the Geneva real estate market, with six interns trained per year.

The social dimension of our sustainable development strategy extends beyond the scope of our human resources to encompass the following aspects, among others.

  • A stimulating work environment

Our social policy enables the personal and professional development of all our employees. We consistently evaluate the balance between the two in order to guarantee a work environment that is pleasant, stimulating and reassuring over the long term. We work in an open manner and facilitate communication on the horizontal and vertical planes. As a result, our personnel are actively involved in our projects and our business strategy.

Un cadre de travail stimulant

  • Aide to associations

In each of our annual greeting cards, we highlight a special association or project we care deeply about. In recent years, we have supported Une école pour Ouaga, enabling the construction of a school in Burkina Faso with sufficient capacity for 400 to 500 students, as well as the Rainbow4Children foundation, providing education to the children of people with disabilities in Ethiopia.

  • In support of Swiss Francophone literature

Every year since 2014, the SPG Literary Prize for a first novel has recognised an initial work of fiction written in French by a Swiss author and published by a Swiss publishing house.

Lauréat du Prix littéraire SPG 2019

 

Out of the 137 women we employ, 27 hold executive positions. Additionally, two out of seven of our agency’s directors are women. The continuity of this trend has been ensured with the arrival of Marie Barbier-Mueller, who joined SPG in 2016 as our director of strategy, and Valentine Barbier-Mueller, who arrived in 2019 as our director of innovation.

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