Nareit's annual Leader in the Light® Award honor Nareit member companies that have demonstrated superior and sustained sustainability practices.

Leader in the Light Awards

2024 application now open

Nareit’s annual Leader in the Light Awards (LITL) recognize REITs that demonstrate leadership in implementing sustainable and socially responsible investment and operating practices, good governance, and transparency. Applicants must participate in the GRESB Real Estate Assessment, which is an independent global organization that provides validated real estate sustainability performance data and peer benchmarks for real estate investors and managers.

The awards are presented to Nareit corporate member REITs based on property sector. In 2023, Nareit awarded REITs in nine property sector categories, including: Diversified, Data centers, Health care, Industrial, Office, Residential, Lodging/resorts, Retail, and Self-Storage.

New in 2024

  • Leader in the Light® narrative responses will now be gathered through the Nareit Sustainability Awards application—which is outside of the GRESB Portal.
  • Nareit Public non-listed REIT members (PNLR) will now be eligible for recognition in the new dedicated PNLR sector category.
  • Nareit member REITs that do not participate in the GRESB Real Estate Assessment are still eligible for the new Sustainability Impact Awards.


  • Submit the LITL awards narrative responses through the Sustainability Awards application by Thursday, June 20
  • The GRESB Real Estate Assessment due Monday, July 1, 2024

Plan and ahead and preview the Sustainability Awards application to start preparing your responses today.

Informational Meeting


Join Nareit for a virtual information session on Wednesday, May 29 to learn more about the Sustainability Impact Awards. Nareit staff will discuss this new award and what makes a strong application.
Register today.


Only Nareit corporate member companies and/or staff are eligible. The company must maintain active membership with Nareit through the 2024 calendar year. To participate in the Leader in the Light® Awards program, Nareit corporate member REITs must complete Nareit's Sustainability Award application and the GRESB Assessments. More information on the GRESB Assessment required to qualify for this award are available through these links: Real Estate Assessment.

Leader in the Light Awards score is based on the following:

  • GRESB Real Estate Assessment Score (30%)
  • GRESB Public Disclosure score* (10%)
  • Narrative responses from the Nareit Sustainability Award application (60%)

* For the PNLR sector award, the GRESB Score is weighted at 40% and does not include a GRESB public disclosure score.

Apply today

Contact Jessica Long, Nareit senior vice president of environmental stewardship & sustainability, for assistance.

Material Non-Public Information
Please be mindful of the information you provide in response to the Nareit Sustainability Awards, considering the various regulatory and reporting requirements your organization may be subject to, including SEC Regulation FD. You should consult your legal and/or compliance professionals to ensure that you are meeting those various obligations.

2023 Winners

  • Data Centers: Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR)
  • Diversified: JBG SMITH (NYSE: JBGS) and Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO)
  • Health Care: Physicians Realty Trust (NYSE: DOC)
  • Industrial: Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD)
  • Lodging / Resorts: Park Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: PK)
  • Office: Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc. (NYSE: HPP)
  • Residential: Veris Residential, Inc. (NYSE: VRE)
  • Retail: Kimco Realty Corporation (NYSE: KIM)
  • Self-storage: Public Storage (NYSE: PSA)

Leadership Personified award: Michael Chang, vice president of energy and sustainability at Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc.

Past Award Winners