A free-of-charge car sharing service for tenants has been functioning in Warsaw Trade Tower (WTT) for 9 months now. There are two electric BMW i3 cars at their disposal. The vehicles have been purchased by Akron Investment Central Eastern Europe II, the office building’s owner. The service improves the comfort of the employees’ work and makes moving around on business quicker. It also fits perfectly well in the context of the environmentally friendly politics of the building’s owner. The effect so far? Lower demand for company cars among tenants and savings. It is good for the environment too.
Car sharing has been successfully functioning in many cities around the world and has been utilised for private purposes as well as business ones. As for the latter, a popular solution is to use external operators and the systems made by them. The cars are then rented on a commercial basis. Akron Investment Central Eastern Europe II, which is the owner of Warsaw Trade Tower, as well as its asset manager, the Heitman company, went one step further: they purchased two electric BMW i3 cars, they designed a mobile phone application for booking and renting the vehicles and, more importantly, they made them available for their tenants free of charge.
The solution is a part of the building’s modernisation and total rebranding process conducted between the years 2015 and 2016. The idea of electric car sharing was presented to WTT’s tenants at the end of January 2016: this was when test drives took place. The vehicles that were to be used by the tenants appeared in the building in February. The system has been improving the mobility of the tenants’ employees, supporting their own car fleets and, what is more important, it lowers their costs and the demand to use the services of taxi corporations or companies that offer short-term car hire.
Every employee of each of the companies that rent office space in Warsaw Trade Tower can rent one of the cars absolutely free of charge for two hours a week by means of WTT’s mobile application or a dedicated website. “To hire a middle-segment car for 2-4 hours in Warsaw one needs to pay around 100-150 PLN. We give the employees working at WTT an opportunity to travel around the city in a modern and comfortable car at any time of the day absolutely for free. Moreover, the vehicle is quiet, easy to drive and environmentally friendly. The fact that so many of our tenants are interested by the idea and that other companies are introducing car sharing services into their portfolio proves that our solution was a good choice,” said Maria Bubak, Client Relations Manager at WTT.
Why? We are living in the times of mobility. Flexibility in our daily work and freedom to move around quickly lie at the basis of running any business these days. The service enables higher mobility of workers without the need for the expansion of your car fleet. The cost of purchase is not the only cost that a company owner must bear while expanding their car fleet. There is also the cost of maintenance. The car sharing service in WTT is absolutely free of charge. The costs of insurance, the charging of the vehicles and regular maintenance are born by the office building’s owner. All this makes the innovative solution increasingly popular among the tenants.
The electric engine is also important. “The tenants are increasingly interested by the service also because of the choice of car: an electric BMW i3, which is still rare on Polish streets,” said Maria Bubak. The vehicles are quiet and they do not produce exhaust fumes, hence they do not pollute the environment, which is crucial both for Akron Investment Central Eastern Europe II and its asset manager, the Heitman company. The choice of environmentally friendly cars was a continuation of the ecological course the owner of the building had taken. The building has recently been awarded the environmentally friendly BREEAM certificate with the score Very Good. Such actions are of paramount importance for big companies renting office space in the building who are obliged to respect and present attitudes in line with ecology and sustainable growth.
From the perspective of the owner of the building, Akron Investment Central Eastern Europe II, and its asset manager, the Heitman company, the car sharing service has made Warsaw Trade Tower’s offer more attractive. The ever growing competition in the office space lease market has sparked dynamic changes in the approach of building owners to their tenants and the organisation of working space. Building owners are looking for innovative and unusual solutions aimed at the so-called employee well-being and at creating a friendly working environment. “It is because offices are not only places where work is performed but they also constitute social space. The space that is supposed to be friendly and must answer also those needs which are not connected with professional work,” said Izabela Kapil, Vice President, Portfolio Management.
Warsaw Trade Tower (WTT) was constructed in the late 90s as a pioneering architectural project. Its total height equals 208 m and its roof at the height of 184 m makes it the tallest office building in Warsaw. The skyscraper dominated the panorama of Warsaw for many years and has been setting trends since it was constructed. It has become the symbol of quality and prestige. In the years 2015-16, the building was modernised in accordance with a wide spectrum of the needs of its tenants. The task was conducted by a working group consisting of architects, real estate commercialisation advisors and branding experts. As a result of the changes the building has gained a range of facilities, e.g. in the area of common space and its surroundings. Additionally, the building has successfully passed the process of environmental certification by means of the BREEAM In-Use method and has earned the mark Very Good in the Asset Performance category.
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