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Health Care REIT Uses Sustainability to Attract Talent

01/14/2014 | By Sarah Borchersen-Keto

Rick Avery, vice president for information management at Health Care REIT (NYSE: HCN), joined REIT.com for a video interview at NAREIT’s 2014 Leader in the Light Working Forum held in San Francisco, Calif.

Avery was asked how Health Care REIT measures the success of its sustainability initiatives and what results the company has seen so far.

“We measure success around people and how sustainability plays an important role in attracting and retaining top real estate talent,” he replied.

Avery noted that Health Care REIT’s corporate campus in Toledo, Ohio, is “a model of sustainable real estate new construction and operation.” He explained that the company has two facilities on its campus that are certified under U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

“It’s a means for us to really drive great people into the organization, to help drive great performance,” Avery said. “Sustainability is really important to Health Care REIT. It really helps us demonstrate that we’re a progressive real estate organization and that we are… a partner of choice for not only our tenants, but our operators,” Avery added.

Avery also explained that Health Care REIT’s program of engagement with tenants and its focus on continuous improvement are reflected in tenant satisfaction and other key metrics of occupancy, as well as general portfolio performance.

“It’s that link of just doing the right thing every day, blocking and tackling and making smart decisions in the buildings, that hopefully embodies what we do in sustainability,” Avery said.

Looking toward the next stage in sustainability practices, Avery remarked that technology is expanding companies’ options for boosting their sustainability.

“There’s such an abundance of great tools to help reduce energy or provide insight, but it’s really the connection to people and the utility use,” Avery said. “That is going to be on the horizon for the next several years.”

He added that he expects to see increased tenant engagement as a result of technology. Tenants, according to Avery, will be able to “control their own destiny because of the buildings being able to push that data to the individual, saying ‘you left your lights on last night.’”