NAREIT Names 2015 Leader in the Light Award Winners

NAREIT announced the 10 winners of its annual Leader in the Light Awards, which honor NAREIT member companies that have demonstrated superior, portfolio-wide sustainability practices. 

The awards were presented on Nov. 18 in Las Vegas at REITWorld 2015: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT to U.S. Equity REITs in seven property sectors: retail, residential, office, industrial, lodging/resorts, health care and diversified. Two winners were selected in the lodging/resorts and office sectors. A global award was also presented for non-U.S. companies.

Macerich (NYSE: MAC) was the award winner in the retail sector, while the residential sector award was presented to AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE: AVB). Boston Properties, Inc. (NYSE: BXP) and Kilroy Realty Corp. (NYSE: KRC) were recognized as joint winners in the office sector, and Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD) won the industrial sector award.

Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: HST) and Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE: HT) both won in the lodging/resorts category. In the health care category, the award was presented to HCP, Inc. (NYSE: HCP). Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO) was the diversified category winner, and British Land Company PLC (London: BLND) won the global award.

“REITs recognize that sustainability is a key ingredient of business success today,” said Sheldon Groner, NAREIT’s executive vice president for finance and operations, who administers the Leader in the Light Award program.

“Sustainable business practices reduce costs, increase the appeal of properties to tenants and are important to a growing number of investors – including cross-border investors who are increasingly interested in U.S. real estate investment,” he added.

NAREIT has been presenting the Leader in the Light awards since 2005. In 2012, the organization modified its judging criteria to include the results of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Annual Survey. GRESB’s Annual Survey measures the environmental performance of property portfolios around the world, and it is a closely watched benchmark among many of the world’s largest institutional investors.

“Evaluating best practices submitted for the 2015 Leader in the Light Awards shows that U.S REITs continue to have a strong focus on improving energy performance,” said GRESB CEO Nils Kok, who is an advisor to the competition.  “This year we also noticed more activity in water reduction and waste management efforts, reflecting the broader business focus on these increasingly important issues,” he noted.