We live in a globalised and interconnected world – as I am writing this in Berlin, for an audience based all across Europe, Africa, North America and beyond. This interconnectivity brings increased global economic opportunities for our tenant firms and the rest of the global economy, but so too increased severity and complexity of global challengessuch as climate change and inequality. One of the goals of COP26 which started this week is collaboration, in recognition of the fact that climate change requires a joined-up approach to solve.
This interconnectivity has been more starkly visible than ever before during the pandemic, as a result of which we’ve seen highly complex and interlinked global supply chains stuttering.
What’s clear therefore is that just as today’s challenges are interconnected, their solutions cannot be achieved by individual action. To achieve real, positive impact, what’s needed are strong partnerships – something we advocate and practice here at Sirius, and the subject of this blog.
Why we can’t achieve true impact alone
At Sirius, we recognise that we can’t succeed and deliver on our strategy, nor deliver positive impact for the environment, our stakeholders and the communities in which we operate without developing and maintaining trusted, collaborative and transparent relationships with our stakeholders including employees, communities, tenants, suppliers and investors.
Where we need highly experienced experts to help us best drive impact, we bring in trusted partner organisations to help us achieve our goals.
As an example, formalising and embedding ESG into the business has been a major focus for the management team over the last couple of years. To tie our approach to ESG together, we’ve worked closely with sustainability and strategy experts SIFA Strategy. They initially carried out a materiality assessment to help us best understand our areas of priority regarding ESG, and brought their expertise to bear in helping us put together our comprehensive ESG strategy within the business.
As Fergus Wylie, co-founder of SIFA Strategy says about our approach to partnering with SIFA: “Sirius’ success is based on the commitment of their leadership team. Our work on ESG has been driven from the CEO downwards which has been a huge support in delivering an impactful programme. Their approach to partnerships is to integrate you into the business and make you part of the team. This ensures that actions are taken and you are part of the decision making process to deliver results.”
As we have developed our ESG programme, it has also led to a number of important initiatives that has also expanded our trusted partner network.
As I referenced in a previous blog, biodiversity is an important issue for us and part of our environmental strategy. We foster over 9,000 trees on our own sites, but we take this further with the help of Tree Nation, a worldwide partnership co-ordinating global action to help reforest the world – we’re currently growing the Sirius forest at a range of sites across the world including India, Africa and South America by planting a new tree every time we want to mark a wide variety of occasions, something we wouldn’t be able to achieve just by focussing on our own sites.
We also partner with Hektar Nektar, a beekeeping initiative across Germany, Switzerland and Austria that aims to increase the bee population by 10% over the next decade – meaning there are around 500,000 Sirius bees working to improve biodiversity.
This year we’ve joined forces with LGBT Great, a global membership organisation that helps corporates best foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Again, this helps bring external expertise to bear in helping us deliver positive impact, and makes Sirius a part of a global community of businesses that are seeking to make a difference.
These are some but by no means all of the partners we work with, helping us achieve impact in a range of areas and in ways that extend beyond our areas of direct expertise.
Working with our tenants
Currently, we serve more than 5,000 tenants, ranging from global blue-chip businesses to SMEs, family owned Mittelstand firms and sole traders, across a wide range of sectors. This means over 5,000 potential partners with whom we can work to achieve greater impact.
Environmentally, our flexible model means tenants can rent the right amount and type of space for their needs, meaning our sites are used efficiently and we can minimise the amount of usable space that’s going to waste.
What’s more, we now supply 99.4% of the energy used by our tenants from 100% certified green electricity sources, and we’re also putting in place steps to help tenants reduce their own energy use through installing smart-metering, starting with 10% of our portfolio this year and with a target to have smart-metering in place across all our sites by 2027 – helping tenants manage their energy use, and making the energy they do use as low impact as possible.
Furthermore, we’re helping tenants reduce their own emissions from travel by installing electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across 50% of Sirius sites during 2021, and we’re continuing to look for opportunities to increase coverage across our portfolio.
Serving our tenants also has positive impacts on communities local to our sites, as these businesses can bring economic opportunity and jobs to the towns and cities in which we operate.
This is an area that’s constantly evolving, and as it’s the core of our business we work closely with tenants to identify their problems and best solve their needs.
Impact as a team
Finally, the Sirius team are key partners on our journey to achieve real impact. Our teams across Germany enable the portfolio flexibility I mentioned above, and are the engine room of the business, constantly liaising with stakeholders to understand their needs.
At our recent CEO forums hosted in August and September, the leadership team engaged with employees to hear first-hand what’s motivating them – and I was really pleased to hear again and again that sustainability and ESG is a big factor for many of our team. They’re energised to help Sirius achieve positive impact, and I’m excited to see what we can do together.
there are many more partners who have gone unnamed in this blog who work with us day in day out to help us achieve our business and sustainability goals - from investors to suppliers, local governments to advisors. It’s with a shared drive and energy that we can work together to achieve true impact, and we’re always keen to enter into new partnerships where we share mutual goals and can generate real positive change.