10/1/2018 | By Diane Rusignola
Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL) has been named to the 2018 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and is the only health care REIT to be included in the index. Welltower was also named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for the third consecutive year.
Kilroy Realty Corp. (NYSE: KRC) is also listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.
“Welltower is very proud of the efforts undertaken by many of its dedicated employees throughout the portfolio and at the corporate office to implement several new initiatives,” Jason Perry, vice president of asset management at Welltower, told Nareit.
Perry said Welltower recently transitioned from a standard lease to a green lease, which led to recognition as a Green Lease Leader by the Institute of Market Transformation in 2017. The REIT also developed green tenant improvement guidelines that incorporate sustainability best practices.
“We are also proud of our workplace wellness program, WellBeing, that was recently awarded Silver Level recognition by the AHA Workplace Health Achievement Index,” Perry added. Welltower has converted more than 200 buildings to LED lighting.
Shea Jameel, manager of sustainability at Welltower, told Nareit that adopting sustainability best practices is important for REITs.
“Investors and other stakeholders are increasingly interested in how REITs are incorporating sustainability into their portfolios,” Jameel said. She said she encourages REITs that are getting started on sustainability to benchmark their properties in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager—free software that provides a comprehensive picture of the energy efficiency of a portfolio and notes where to focus efforts.
“Once benchmarked, a REIT can encourage its property managers to take low and no cost measures, such as adjusting HVAC setpoints and encouraging employees and tenants to turn off lights when not in use to increase their ENERGY STAR scores,” she said.
Launched in 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices are global indicators of sustainability leadership, evaluating companies on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors relevant to their industry.