Will Teichman, director of sustainability with Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE: KIM), joined REIT.com for a video interview at REITWise 2013: NAREIT’s Law, Accounting and Finance Conference in La Quinta, Calif.
Kimco Realty owns and operates North America’s largest portfolio of neighborhood and community shopping centers. The company has been a publicly traded REIT since 1991 and has specialized in shopping center acquisition, development and management for more than 50 years.
Teichman discussed the company’s recent sustainability efforts as well as how sustainability initiatives in the retail sector differ from others.
“The biggest factor that differentiates retail is the landlord-tenant relationship in the triple net lease sector. When you look at a typical shopping center environment, about 85 percent of the energy use takes place inside the building and the other 15 percent is driven by the common area,” he said. “So, in order to pursue those opportunities in energy efficiency, it requires breaking down some of those traditional barriers between landlords and tenants and finding ways to do projects that mutually benefit both parties.”
When it comes to cost savings, Teichman said energy savings opportunities are plentiful. The real challenge involves finding models to invest in and recovering those expenses. Additionally, he discussed promotion efforts.
“As a company we’re very active in promoting what we’re doing in the company and corporate responsibility space. We have taken some initial efforts in the early years to respond directly to investors’ questions through forums such as the carbon disclosure project and the real estate sustainable benchmarks. Those were two early efforts to put some information out there,” he said.
Since then, Teichman said Kimco decided to take its promotional efforts a step further and start to produce a more comprehensive Global Reporting Initiative-based corporate responsibility report. The report will be published for investors for the first time in 2014.
He also discussed the company’s solar energy program.
“It so strongly addresses the landlord-tenant collaboration issues that we feel are the biggest driver of sustainability of energy outcome in properties,” he said. “Solar energy in a nutshell involves the landlord providing access to the roof space to deploy a solar array, which supplies energy a tenant.”