As part of its “Better Places 2030” Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, Unibail-Rodamco has become a member of the circular economy innovation platform of Paris&Co, the economic development and innovation agency of Paris. The purpose of this collaboration is to identify and co-develop innovative solutions in the retail and real estate industries, to create shopping centres that are always more respectful of the environment.
Paris&Co promotes the Ile-de-France innovation ecosystem through the incubation of young companies, the experimentation of innovative solutions, and the organisation of start-up events. It also fosters collaboration between start-ups and large companies. Launched in 2017, the innovation platform on circular economy is part of the sustainable city programme of Paris&Co and aims to connect start-ups and large expert companies on mutual concerns such as:
- the recovery of waste and the implementation of innovative recycling channels;
- the use of renewable energy and sustainable energy supply;
- the economy of functionality, responsible and local consumption and short consumption circuits.
Unibail-Rodamco decided to take part in this innovative initiative, convinced of the benefits of open innovation. Since 2015, this belief is embodied by UR Link, the accelerator of business for start-ups, thanks to which the Group has developed fruitful collaborations with the start-up ecosystem and the circular economy sector. This partnership with Paris&Co, a key player in the circular economy ecosystem in France, will enable Unibail-Rodamco to create new collaborations with start-ups via UR Link and to continue co-developing innovative solutions with them.
This partnership is also consistent with the Group’s CSR strategy, “Better Places 2030”, which aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030 and face the major challenges of the commercial real estate sector for the 15 next years, in terms of:
- a transition to a lower carbon economy, in line with the COP 21 commitments ;
- the anticipation of new modes of sustainable mobility ;
- the full integration of our activities in the surrounding territories, in partnership with local communities.
“Unibail-Rodamco aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030, covering the entire value chain, including construction, operation and transportation of our visitors. We are convinced that circular economy must occupy an important place in the solutions allowing us to reach our objectives. With this in mind, we are very happy to set up a partnership with Paris&Co that will accelerate the responsible sourcing of UR Link and the deployment of innovative solutions within the Group”Clément Jeannin
Since its creation, UR Link has accelerated 19 start-ups, 7 of which have a direct impact on the Group’s CSR, particularly in the fields of circular economy, mobility, urban agriculture and fostering employment. Those collaborations resulted in the development of innovative and sustainable solutions in terms of:
- reduction of waste, thanks to the start-up Phenix (also incubated by Paris&Co in 2017 in the circular economy promotion) and its platform for the revaluation and redistribution of unsold products and waste;
- transformation of consumption behaviours by giving a second life to clothes with the start-up Dress in the City, which combines the best of physical sales and online sales;
- promotion of short consumption circuits with Farmhouse–Sous les Fraises, which sets up urban farms on the roofs of our centres and whose products are then resold on site.
The UR Link programme offers start-ups access to the Group’s shopping centres and their 800 million annual visitors, as well as personalised coaching from Unibail-Rodamco’s experts. UR Link focuses on solutions that make shopping centres livelier, more sustainable and better integrated into their environment.