09/03/2013 | by
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General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP) unveiled its first sustainability report to highlight company initiatives, ranging from energy management systems to solar panels and food composting programs. 

The Chicago-based retail REIT’s sustainability goals include minimizing environmental impact, increasing energy efficiency, conserving natural resources and reducing energy consumption. 

“The company implemented a number of strategically planned initiatives since last year,” noted Sandeep Mathrani, GGP’s CEO, in the report. “We truly believe the initiatives we’re undertaking today and tomorrow make our communities better places to live, work, play and invest.”

 In New Jersey, GGP installed solar panels on the rooftop of four of its malls. The panels provide 12 percent of the malls’ energy needs at an estimated annual savings of approximately $650,000, according to the report. The company is continuing its solar deployment program by installing solar panels at a mall in Hawaii, scheduled to be completed by October. 

Additional highlights in the sustainability report include the introduction of a food composting program. Since implementing the program, close to 10 tons of food waste has been diverted from landfills each month, according to the report. 

The report noted that much of the emphasis for GGP to date has been focused on creating infrastructure to improve energy efficiency and savings across the portfolio. 

To better manage energy use within its malls, GGP has worked to install energy management ystems in its malls. These systems collect output data from sub-meters and monitor tenant and building utility usage.

In addition to the energy management technology, the company established energy standard guidelines to use at each of its centers by upgrading existing systems with more energy-efficient systems. GGP said this helps to maintain consistency when it comes to temperature and use. 

The company has also implemented water conservation devices, and as GGP malls undergo renovations, the REIT recycles or donates materials when available. 

“Our initiatives garnered positive results,” said Mathrani. “We will continue exploring practices that not only lower our carbon footprint but also add value to our communities, retailers, consumers, employees and shareholders. “ 

GGP owns 123 malls in the United States comprising approximately 128 million square feet of space.