Social – Sustainable Rooftops & Community Engagement  

Real estate plays a pivotal role in the development of a more sustainable world, not only because of its considerable use of materials and land, but also because people’s lives are centred around buildings. Our centers are often located in the heart of a community and are visited regularly. Through various projects, OPEN aims to promote Community Engagement across all its retail centres, ensuring they support the local community.

Bee’s for Biesdorf: About the Project  

Bees are a crucial in our ecosystem. Several thousand varieties of fruits and vegetables, as well as important wild plants depend on bees pollination. Some 80% of European wildflowers also require bee activity to survive. The insects’ work is also vital for the survival of the human being. However, bees are threatened by extinction. Urban rooftops provide ample space for beehives, whether the roof is lush with vegetation or vacant. For years, scientific evidence has shown that bees thrive in urban areas. They produce more honey and survive the winter in greater numbers. Installing beehives is a small step with a big impact. These overlooked places become feel-good spaces that promote well-being, healthy living and can help save the bee population, improve our local ecosystems’ and reduce some of the negative environmental factors impacting our planet.

Since summer 2021, there been no shortage of humming and buzzing on the roof of OPEN’s Biesdorf centre in the sub-urban region of Berlin. This is because 6 beehives with approximately 300,000 honeybees have been installed on the flat roof of the building. The bees can take off on their foraging flights and pollinate plants in the process. With the beehives on the roof, OPEN is sending a clear signal about the importance of biodiversity and does its part to preserve food diversity.

Community Engagement  

The idea is not only to have an environmental project, but also an educational project. Together with our tenants and the local schools in the area, we have developed an educational program to teach children in the region the importance of sustainability and the environment, and to create a new awareness of bees by educating and involving them in a simple way: through honey tastings, sustainability tours and “Lunch and Learns”. In addition, we would like to promote innovative learning, so that the participating students will design a branding and sales strategy for the honey to be sold independently at the local center. The proceeds will be donated to local environmental organizations.

We want to act today for tomorrow and do so in a long-term, effective and responsible manner. Our goal is to make an active contribution to species and climate protection, because commitment to bees stands for sustainability, environmental friendliness and social responsibility.