Accolade to invest over 15 million euros in the revitalization of brownfield in Konin.
The transformation of old factory premises into new industrial parks is one of Accolade's significant business activities. After the revitalization of brownfields in Szczecin, Bydgoszcz, Czestochowa or Legnica, the former logistics centre in Konin built in the 60s is now coming into play. Accolade invests over 15 million euros to remediate this property of the aggregated area of 7 hectars and to build a modern A-class industrial park. Including this project, the share of revitalized brownfields of the Accolade in Poland makes up 43 %. Breathing new life into old industrial premises is also one of the key points in Accolade´s ESG strategy.
The new park in Konin will target the size of over 24 000 sq m and covers the present buiding leased by Konpack and the future A-class worehouse with the area of over 18 000 sq m. The industrial complex has a strategic location in the Central Poland as well as in the center of Konin city and has direct access to railway. The international railway line Berlin-Moscow passes through the city. It lies near the motorway A2 which is the main connection between Warsaw, Łódź and Poznań or Germany. Thanks to proximity of the river Warta, the location gives the opportunity to use the existing network of canals with the Baltic Sea. Konin region is now a significant centre of the power industry, with the presence of many companies with foreign capital. The new investment aspires to BREEAM certification at the level of Excellent.
“Investing in brownfields is one of the key areas of our ESG approach. We want to set an example not only in business but also in social responsibility, which is a part of our corporate culture and we strive to fulfill it every day. Being a trustworthy, responsible and transparent company, we follow UN´s principles of sustainable development. Thanks to us and our tenants, places with long industrial tradition are gaining a new character and meaning thus contributing to 43% share of the brownfields in our Polish portfolio” says Michal Białas, Country Head Poland at Accolade.
Brownfield development requires more work and investment upfront than greenfields areas where there are no facilities that already exist. In case of Konin, the majority of existing buildings had to be demolished and remains had to be removed. The site soil parameters were exceeded in terms of heavy metals and hydrocarbons. The contamination was caused by the operation of the railway logistics centre. To solve this, the plot was remediated using the ex-site method on an area of approx. 704 sq m. Remediation was carried out in the field of hydrocarbon pollution around the former petrol station. The whole process was done by Accolade together with subsequent testing to make sure that the area is harmless.
“Focus on the revitalization of dilapidated industrial areas is in our DNA. We want to give those premises new chance to shine. This is often the case of the remains of already closed production companies, whose retreat began with the modernization of traditional industry. Due to the history of industrial production, brownfields are often located near major cities and their wider centres. Together with good transport accessibility, these areas represent strategically an investment opportunity for both sides, for us, so for future tenants. At present, these revitalized areas make up over 980 000 sq m in our group portfolio.” says Lukáš Répal, COO of Accolade.
In Accolade there are many examples of the good revitalization work. Starting with the biggest park in Szczecin built on the plant after former battle aircraft and cable factory. Park Bydgoszcz, part of the Bydgoszcz Industrial and Technical Park, was created through the regeneration of a brownfield from an extensive chemical plant that ended its operations several years before. And company´s biggest success on the ESG field is Park Cheb South in the Czech republic, a brownfield investment at the site of former machineworks. The Park includes the most ecological industrial building in the world, which was the first in the world to receive a sustainability certification at the level of “Outstanding” with a record score of 90.68 % according to BREEAM certification. This score was achieved thanks to a carefully controlled process of construction, including subsequent modifications around the Park. During the revitalization 90% of the construction and demolition waste was recycled, rainwater is used for flushing in the hall, the windows are shaded by blinds and the surroundings are decorated with an insect hotel and an outdoor gym for employees.
Accolade is environmentally friendly and invests with respect for the world around us. The parks meet the highest standards for modern development complying with BREEAM sustainable approach certification. It includes not only quality and modern materials and development technologies e.g. for water and energy efficiency but also park greenery and surroundings as well as working conditions for employees.
“In all our locations, we focus on being a good partner for the locals and becoming part of their community. It's not just about investing in modern business. We support also local infrastructure as well as charitable, non-profit and leisure activities to bring also social and economic growth to the cities where we operate. We just want to be a good neighbor and lend a helping hand whenever needed,” adds Bialas.