‘Woonzorg Nederland’s ESG reports serve as an inspiring example for the housing association sector’

11 July 2024 - 

Woonzorg Nederland is a housing association that leads the way in explaining how it contributes to society. The specialist in homes for older people and sheltered accommodation offers various forms of housing and sets great store by the social aspect of co-housing for older people. Woonzorg Nederland sets out its impact on people and the environment in an ESG report. This makes Woonzorg Nederland an inspiration to the rest of the sector.

Tuitjenhorn is a quiet, leafy village with a close community, where neighbours invite each other to coffee and help each other out. It is an ideal place for older people to live. Given this, it is unsurprising that Woonzorg Nederland has a residential complex in the village where it offers social housing to over 55s. The complex has a common area where residents gather together and volunteers organise activities. Care services are always close at hand. 

‘Investing in wellbeing today …

Woonzorg Nederland is a housing association that lets residential accommodation located around the Netherlands to older people. Arnold Pureveen, director of Woonzorg Nederland, is proud of the project in Tuitjenhorn. ‘That residential complex is an example of a true community. The social aspect of housing is important to us, and living independently for as long as possible forms the foundation for this. When people are happy, the amount of care they require is reduced.’

… results in large savings in terms of the provision of care tomorrow’

Pressure on care services is growing, and demand for housing for older people will also increase due to the ageing population. Arnold Pureveen: ‘We are a traditional real estate player: we provide housing and we build around a thousand homes a year. At the same time, we are keen to encourage the creation of communities and we work with parties that can provide care.’ Woonzorg Nederland is the Netherlands’ largest housing association for older people. It has developed various forms of housing to meet the specific residential and care needs of its target group. Woonzorg Nederland encourages positive health, self-reliance and interaction between residents in all forms of housing. Care services (including intensive care) are available where necessary. The housing association also believes it has a responsibility to provide information on its impact on people and the environment.

Social impact

Woonzorg Nederland is helping to make the Netherlands more sustainable and sociable. This is something Arnold Pureveen has no doubts about. The housing association is also committed to reducing its environmental footprint while providing affordable, sustainable housing for the elderly. Sint Jozefpark is just one example of this. Work was recently done on the complex to make it sustainable. The 17,000th solar panel was installed, as was circular H++ glass. These developments represent a major step forward in reducing C02 emissions. Glass has the greatest impact when it comes to CO2 emissions from construction, renovation and sustainability activities as a whole.

Providing insight into its social impact proved difficult at first, however, and this was a source of frustration. ‘There was a 250-page annual report full of figures and explanations,  but there was no information on the impact  in there.’ Four years ago, Arnold Pureveen started to look more deeply into the world of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ESG. ‘As a director, my first instinct was to write a report immediately. There was no point, however, in producing a report merely for the sake of appearances. We wanted the organisation to support these goals wholeheartedly. The report was just the icing on the cake.’

Reliable partner

BNG is Woonzorg Nederland’s main bank and grants loans so that the housing association can purchase homes and make them more sustainable. Arnold Pureveen: ‘BNG is a reliable partner. We have worked together for a long time and the bank has been there for us in good times and in bad. Given the task ahead of us, we are happy to be working with a party that provides certainty for the future.’ Arnold Pureveen stressed that Woonzorg Nederland and BNG have an excellent working relationship: ‘Obviously, BNG is an institution. It is ultimately the people who work there who guarantee the quality of the relationship.’

Inspiration to the sector

René Goorden, housing sector lead at BNG, is very positive about Woonzorg Nederland and its ESG reports. ‘Woonzorg Nederland has a pioneer in its sector.” Woonzorg Nederland and BNG are in regular contact and discuss themes of relevance to the sector. René Goorden: ‘We like to brainstorm with Woonzorg Nederland on topics that concern the entire sector. A good example is ESG reporting.’ Arnold Pureveen pointed out that BNG could help the sector by providing information on what investors want to read about in reports. René Goorden: ‘We definitely have a role to play in that area, and we are doing our best to fulfil it. Woonzorg Nederland’s reports serve as inspiration to us in that respect. We hope they also inspires the other players in its sector. There is no need for them to reinvent the wheel - they can simply follow Woonzorg Nederland’s example.’
The Netherlands
Map of the Netherlands
More information

BNG Bank uses cookies for analytics and proper functioning of this website. Please confirm your cookie settings. Read more about our cookies and privacy statement.

BNG Bank places cookies for analytics and proper functioning of this website. Third-party cookies may also be placed. Therefore, we need your approval.