Governance Case Studies

Welltower: Diversity and Inclusion

Welltower, Clearvista Lake Health Campus, Indianapolis, IN

Welltower (NYSE: WELL), an S&P 500 company focused on health care real estate, is committed to increasing and fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace through a variety of leading practice initiatives, such as in its development of CORE (Creating Opportunities, Relationships and Excellence) Women’s Network, which is designed to provide female employees with mentorship and training opportunities.

The company’s hiring and promotion efforts to increase the diversity of its workforce, especially in revenue generating roles, resulted in a new milestone in 2018: women now represent 45% of new hires placed in revenue generating roles.

Leveraging its leading practice initiatives, Welltower had several landmark accomplishments in 2018, emphasizing its commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace:

  • Tom DeRosa, Welltower CEO, signed on to the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion;
  • Welltower was the first North American REIT to sign the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles;
  • The company announced two new female appointments to its board of directors, increasing its representation of female and minority independent directors to 55%.

The company’s hiring and promotion efforts, designed to increase the diversity of its workforce, particularly in revenue generating roles, resulted in a new milestone in 2018: women now represent 45% of new hires placed in revenue generating roles.

Ventas: Board Diversity Drives Performance Improvement

Ventas, South Street Landing, Providence, RI

To gain varied perspectives and bring together complementary experiences, Ventas (NYSE: VTR) actively seeks diversity in its workforce and board of directors.

When seeking new board members, Ventas applies broad selection criteria that allows for the consideration of a more diverse slate of candidates. These criteria include:

  • Leadership experience in roles outside of the public company C-suite;
  • Subject matter expertise in areas outside of Ventas’s core industries of real estate and healthcare, such as public policy and capital markets;
  • A heavier emphasis on applicable skillsets; and
  • Individuals without prior board experience.

Applying these criteria, Ventas added two new female independent members to its board, both serving on their first public company board. The current nine member Ventas board is one-third female.

“Our company is stronger and more effective for all stakeholders when we intentionally develop and recruit a diverse workforce at all levels of the organization,”
said Debra A. Cafaro, Chairman and CEO of Ventas.

Kimco Realty Corporation: ESG Governance

Kimco Realty Corporation, Edgewater Commons, NJ

Kimco Realty Corporation (NYSE: KIM) is one of North America’s largest publicly traded owners and operators of open-air shopping centers.

In an effort to lead in corporate governance practices and sustainability performance, Kimco has instituted a formalized sustainability governance structure and company-wide ESG policy that address the environmental, social,
and governance topics they deem most material to their organization.

Kimco’s ESG policy is used to guide the organization and execution of its corporate responsibility program. Core components of
the ESG policy and corporate responsibility program include:

  • Proactive, annual stakeholder engagement through two-way dialogue, surveys, workshops, and focus groups;
  • Annual materiality assessments used toguide the direction of the corporate responsibility program;
  • Established sustainability purpose, governance, and goals with clear KPIs and defined management activities for ESG actions, including ethics and compliance; and
  • A structured approach to reporting and disclosure with defined commitments to transparency, materiality, standardization and accuracy.

The outcomes of Kimco’s ESG programs have included minimized expenses and added value and incentives for all stakeholders.


Brookfield Properties: Implementing a Supplier Diversity Program for Long-Term Impact

Brookfield Properties, Foundry Lofts, The Yards, Washington, DC.

Acquired by Brookfield Properties (NASDAQ: BPY) in December 2018, Forest City Realty Trust created sustainable value by operating spaces where people, businesses, and communities thrive.

In addition to its environmental innovations, the company focused on engaging a diverse supplier base that enabled it to execute its strategy and benefit its neighborhoods in a more impactful way.

For all new construction, Forest City set supplier diversity and hiring goals that adhered to or surpass local requirements. For projects on existing properties, it required at least one diverse vendor to be included in the bidding process.

To evaluate and select locally based suppliers, Forest City utilized a supplier-locator database tool that allowed it to sort diverse suppliers by regions. The company also set internal goals to support the growth and success of minority- and women-owned businesses.


Host Hotels & Resorts: Environmentally Responsible Supply Chain Management

Host Hotels & Resorts, The Don Cesar, St. Pete Beach, FL.

As a property owner and the world’s largest lodging REIT, Host Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HST) actively engages with its more than 300 renovation and maintenance suppliers to foster innovative and environmentally responsible business practices through a variety of targeted policies, practices and initiatives, which include:

  • Active assessment of suppliers' physical risks to inventory and production capabilities, including exposure to climate change volatility and extreme weather impacts;
  • Evaluate sustainable alternatives to sourced renovation materials to include recycled and repurposed products, low VOC paints, locally manufactured products, and products with third-party sustainability certifications, whenever possible;
  • Direct collaboration with suppliers and brands to identify opportunities for efficiency improvement, such as installing LED lighting, occupancy-based guestroom HVAC controls, and low-flow showerheads, toilets and faucets.

In 2017, 88% of Host Hotels & Resorts’ furniture, fixtures, and equipment spend was represented by its strategic suppliers, and its 2018 project value was spent on products that have sustainability attributes.