• Revised our sustainability strategy to assess its continued ability to deliver shared value within the context of changes to our business model. Our revised sustainability strategy builds heavily on our previous commitments to deliver shared value while providing greater alignment between our business model and sustainability goals.

  • Sonae Sierra joins 800 companies around the world by signing the ‘Paris Pledge for Action’ in support of the goals established by the COP21 Paris Agreement.


  • ‘Rising Store’ initiative launched to promote entrepreneurship in Portugal.
  • Rolled out Dive and Bright projects to deliver cost savings by targeting reductions in energy and water use.
  • Launched project Be Well under the leveraging knowledge theme of our sustainability strategy – an academic partnership with no associated investment cost which enabled us to gain comprehensive insight into workplace stress risks present within our company and develop a detailed mitigation plan to improve employee health and wellbeing.
  • Launched Help Spot in Portugal with a view to position our shopping centres as leading catalysts for socially responsible volunteer work.
  • Launched the Coop Store project to foster entrepreneurship and support the emergence of new brands and concepts in our shopping centres under the ‘Prosperous Retailers’ theme of our Sustainability Strategy.
  • Committed to proceeding with the rollout of rainwater harvesting and reuse systems across our portfolio under the ‘resource resilience’ theme of our sustainability strategy.
  • Achieved ‘Core’ compliance with the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 Guidelines for our 2013 Economic, Environmental and Social Report. We were one of the first companies in our sector to use the new guidelines.
  • We were also one of the first companies to apply the International Intergraded Reporting Council’s (IIRC) Integrated Reporting Framework to our reporting.
  • Revised our sustainability strategy that build heavily on previous commitments, while also sharpening our focus on actions that can create long-term shareholder value by solving some of society’s key challenges. The aim is to provide greater alignment between our sustainability and business goals as we adopt a creating shared value approach over and above targeting continuous improvements in environmental, safety and health.
  • Our integrated Safety, Health and Environment Management System (SHEMS) became fully operational and maintaining its ISO14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications. The SHEMS covers all of our business activities (development, investment and property management) and all assets which we own, occupy or manage for third parties (shopping centres in development and operation, and our corporate offices), in all the countries where we operate.
  • Involved in the preparation of the INREV (European Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate Vehicles) Best Practice Recommendations (BPR) for Sustainability Reporting. In line with the INREV BPR, we added a sustainability performance annex to our asset fund reports.
  • Signed The 2° Challenge Communiqué. The Communiqué supports a robust, equitable and effective United Nations agreement on climate change, built on existing foundations.
  • Participated in the development of the Programa Acción CO2 Action Plan and in benchmarking activities in Spain, and worked with Programa Acción CO2 to develop a questionnaire for suppliers.
  • Introduced a CR audit procedure and carried out CR audits on all our critical Property Management suppliers.
  • Achieved compliance with level A+ of the GRI G3.1 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for our fully integrated Economic, Environmental and Social Report which also includes many of the GRI Construction and Real Estate Sector Supplement (CRESS) criteria and performance indicators.
  • Sonae Sierra property funds ranked as the most sustainable in Europe and third worldwide by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), which establishes a ranking of the property funds and companies in the real estate sector that are most committed to the environment.
  • Established S&H Due Diligences in all shopping centre acquisition processes.
  • Participated in several external benchmarking initiatives, including the Greenprint Foundation’s Carbon Index and the International Sustainability Alliance’s environmental real estate benchmark.
  • Launched the first edition of the Planet Sierra Tenant Award, acknowledging 14 tenants for outstanding environmental performance.
  • Launched our first national campaign in Portugal, “Healthy Week”, which aimed to promote healthier lifestyles to our millions of visitors.
  • Carried out projects to improve our service to shopping centre visitors in Europe and Brazil, and commissioned a survey to investigate consumer values and attitudes towards sustainability.
  • Introduced two new policies to promote flexible work arrangements for our employees.
  • Developed an Occupational Health Standard which provides general requirements and guidance for Sonae Sierra to cost-effectively manage physical, physiological and biological occupational health hazards and maintain a proactive ergonomic programme.
  • Created the Sustainability Office, integrating the Environment Department and the Safety & Health Office.
  • Became a founding member of the Greenprint Foundation, a global industry initiative supported by key players in the property sector who wish to reduce the carbon footprint of their portfolios in an economically feasible manner in line with the current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) goals for global Greenhouse Gas stabilisation by 2050.
  • Became a member of the European Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate Vehicles (INREV’s) Sustainability Working Group, launched in 2009, to inform and educate INREV’s members about fund-level sustainability issues and relevant regulation, industry benchmarks and practices.
  • Became a member of the International Sustainability Alliance (ISA), a joint initiative developed by key stakeholders associated with the built environment, which aims to lead the transformation of the market for sustainable buildings.
  • Completed a more comprehensive review of material CR issues for our business and set new ambitious long-term objectives for Environment, and Safety and Health.
  • Introduced “SuperComm” project within our own organisation to reduce business staff travel and associated environmental impacts.
  • Launch of the Shop Spots format to help new entrepreneurs and existing retailers promote their products, by giving them access to prime locations with a strong visual impact and a competitive cost structure.
  • First Sonae Sierra Healthy Month organised for employees, involving 417 participants in a wide range of health and well-being initiatives.
  • Achieved Level A+ of the Global Reporting Initiative’s G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for our annual CR Report, which was independently verified by external auditor Deloitte.
  • Sonae Sierra handed out the Personæ Tenant Award to our tenants for the first time, distinguishing the retailers with the best S&H practices in our portfolio. Awards presented to five tenants and Parque D. Pedro Shopping (Best Shopping Centre Management Team) for outstanding achievements in S&H performance during 2007.
  • Became a partner of the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign as a result our strong commitment to sustainability and potential to contribute to the Campaign’s objectives. The Campaign was a European Commission initiative which aimed to raise public awareness and promote sustainable energy production and use among individuals, organisations, private companies, public authorities, energy agencies, industry associations and NGOs across Europe.
  • Participated in the XVIII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in South Korea, we were the only real estate company to present our experiences as part of our commitment to the World Safety Declaration.
  • Environmental Accounting Tool launched for shopping centres in operation.
  • Launched a CR Supplier questionnaire to gain a better understanding of the Corporate Responsibility practices of our large, repeat suppliers for both development and property management services. We also included CR clauses in our contracts with significant development and property management service suppliers.
  • Our “Community Day” enabled staff to contribute 2,308 hours of volunteering to a wide range of projects in collaboration with local NGOs.
  • Introduced Non-Discrimination, Diversity and Part-Time Working policies setting out our commitment to a meritocratic culture and encouraging a positive work-life balance for our staff.
  • Sonae Sierra Safety & Health Management System certified according to OHSAS 18001. We were the first company in our industry in Europe to attain such certification.
  • Became a member of the ICSC Europe Sustainability Working Group. The Group, established by the International Council of Shopping Centres, discusses sustainability topics affecting the shopping centre industry. Key projects include developing a pan-European BREEAM sustainability standard for retail properties, which has resulted in the BREEAM green building certification process being applied at several sites across Europe.
  • First Green Travel Plan developed at Centro Colombo and guidelines developed to roll out Green Travel Plans to other centres.
  • Developed and approved medium-term strategies and long-term objectives for water, waste and land use.
  • Responsible Procurement Policy launched to address significant environmental and social risks present in our supply chain though the procurement of goods and services.
  • First Community Advisory Panel (CAP) launched at Dos Mares shopping centre, consisting of representatives from the local community, public and private sector organisations, and other interested parties.
  • First Corporate Climate and Employee Satisfaction Survey undertaken to monitor and further increase employee satisfaction levels.
  • Launch of the Personæ Tenant Award for Best Shopping Centre Management Team and Best Tenants to reward best practice in safety and health management.
  • Achieved Level B+ of the Global Reporting Initiative’s G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for our annual CR Report, which was independently verified by external auditor Deloitte.
  • Our mission statement referred to Corporate Responsibility for the first time as our environmental and social awareness started to grow.
  • CR Steering Committee and CR Working Groups established for all key CR impacts. The Working Groups consist of representatives across Sonae Sierra who are responsible for driving performance in their area of corporate responsibility.
  • Review of significant CR issues performed to allow us to develop a more focused CR strategy, built around the nine material CR impact areas. Sonae Sierra identified its four greatest environmental impact areas as being Climate Change, Water, Waste and Land Use.
  • Sustainable Development training programme (Chronos – WBCSD tool) launched for all employees across the business.
  • Developed a long-term carbon management plan to reduce our Greenhouse Gas emissions.
  • Created a volunteer programme for staff to participate in social activities.
  • Introduced road safety and eco-driving training for our staff. Training was provided by firemen, police and medical staff, and aimed to raise environmental and safety awareness among personnel who drive regularly.
  • Our 2006 report is our first to comply with the Global Reporting Initiative’s Guidelines, following a recommendation from a major shareholder. We attained level C+ as verified by external auditor Deloitte.
  • Sonae became one of the 24 founding members of The World Safety Declaration, a global commitment to improve workplace safety.
  • CR Policy approved and launched by Sonae Sierra’s Board of Directors. This outlines our goal to be at the forefront of the industry in relation to Corporate Responsibility, and our commitment to continuously challenge the status quo in order to find innovative and more sustainable ways of developing and managing shopping centres.
  • Code of Conduct approved and launched by Sonae Sierra’s Board of Directors to establish and promote the fundamental aspects of ethical behaviour which we believe should be adopted across all areas of our business.
  • Horizons magazine launched to improve internal communications at Sonae Sierra, with CR-related issues featuring frequently.
  • Participated in the development of the Energy Efficiency Good Practices Manual with BCSD Portugal. The manual aims to disseminate best available techniques for achieving energy efficiency, and contains two Sonae Sierra case studies.
  • GHG emissions measurement applied to all shopping centres and corporate offices.
  • Research project undertaken to investigate the CR priorities of several major tenants and CR questions incorporated into the Annual Tenants’ Survey.
  • ‘Be Innovative’ programme launched, designed to generate new ideas and foster innovation from staff across Sonae Sierra, regardless of their function or position.
  • Pilot study commissioned to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases) associated with one operational shopping centre, a construction project and our offices in Lisbon.
  • NorteShopping in Portugal began composting organic waste, contributing to the improvement in Sonae Sierra’s waste management system. As far as we are aware, NorteShopping was the first shopping centre to implement this practice.
  • Environmental Management Manual for Tenants developed for Centro Colombo, NorteShopping and ArrábidaShopping in Portugal.
  • Carried out Safe Practice Index (SPI) observations to assess the probability of accidents occurring on all of our projects under construction (including expansion and refurbishment works).
  • Sonae Sierra’s corporate EMS certified externally by ISO 14001:2004. This certification applies to all the business activities of Sonae Sierra such as ownership, development and management of leisure and shopping centres. This certification was an industry first.
  • Launch of Personæ, a four year Safety and Health programme delivered by a joint Sonae Sierra-DuPont Safety Resources team, which aims to create a safety culture across all operations and locations where we operate. The principal objectives of the Personæ programme are; develop a zero accident culture; ensure responsible behaviour through commonly-adopted values; and leverage operational discipline resulting in productivity and quality improvements.
  • Safety & Health Office created, including two Safety & Health Project Managers responsible for projects under development and shopping centres under operation, and headed by a department Manager reporting directly to the CEO of the company.
  • Safety and Health Policy approved and launched by the Board of Directors. The policy commits Sonae Sierra to conduct its activities in a way that minimises risks to people and its assets, and to achieve excellent levels of social responsibility, safety and health.
  • Sonae signed the UN Global Compact, a voluntary contract between the United Nations and the worldwide business community. It is designed to encourage companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment, and anti-corruption.
  • Publication of our first standalone CR Report.
  • Environment Portal launched: this is an internet-based application designed to collect and present data to assist reporting and decision-making processes within Sonae Sierra.
  • Participated in the Property Environment Group (PEG) Environmental Benchmark for shopping centres, enabling us to compare our centres’ environmental performance against that of 83 others.


  • Established that all approved investments must be preceded by an Environmental Due Diligence study, to establish the extent of eventual environmental liability.
  • EMS for construction works launched and implemented at all shopping centre sites where construction started in 2003.


  • Eco-Noticias environmental magazine published by Sonae and distributed across the Sonae Group. 20,000 copies printed and it was uploaded to the Group intranet site.
  • Environmental Standards for Retail Developments (ESRD), Sonae Sierra’s own environmental design standards, established for our new centres and major refurbishments. The ESRD consist of 190 standards developed by Sierra based on our experience, best available technologies and practices and international certifications systems such as LEED and BREEAM. The ESRD span several issues such as Energy, Water, Waste, Transport, Health & Well-being and Sustainability (land, ecology and community), and are revised periodically to ensure that the tool is kept up to date.


  • Sonae played an active role in setting up the Portuguese Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD Portugal), and accepted an invitation to chair the Council for the first term of office.


  • Sonae published its first Environmental Report, integrating information from each business and thus beginning a process of regular reporting on our environmental management plans, performance and achievements.
  • Creation of Sonae’s environmental indicators which enabled us, for the first time, to monitor a shopping centre’s performance continuously over time.


  • Definition of the Environmental Requirements to be included in the specifications given to the planners at the start of each project. These requirements ensure that new centres have the characteristics needed for proper environmental management from the day they first open.
  • Environmental Management System (EMS) developed to implement our Environmental Policy, which is based on the ISO 14001 standards and is applicable to all countries where we operate.
  • Environmental section included for the first time in Sonae Sierra’s Annual Report and Accounts.
  • Eco XX1 launched to encourage eco-efficiency across all Sonae’s businesses.
  • First annual conference held, bringing together around 100 top managers from different areas of the Sonae business to discuss the environment and sustainability.


  • Sonae Sierra’s Environmental Policy approved, articulating our environmental commitment and stance, recognising the impacts that result from our activities, and adoption of an environmental framework of objectives and targets.


  • “Forum Ambiente” established, as a result of ‘Projecto Horizonte’, and Sonae Sierra begins to build its own environmental management structure.


  • Sonae became a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and committed to active membership and participation in this Council’s key projects.
  • Launch of the “Projecto Horizonte” project which was Sonae’s first group-wide initiative, involving representatives from all businesses to promote environmental management as an integral part of business management and as a factor of differentiation and a source of competitive advantage.
  • Environmental Department established in Sonae Sierra’s Lisbon office with the appointment of an Institutional Relations and Environmental Manager.

Note: At the "Sustainability" all information is comprehensive and refer to the Sierra and its shopping centers in the various countries in which it operates, including Brazil.