12/17/2020 | by

REITs and ESG Leaders Recognized for Achievement in Sustainability

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 17, 2020) – The 15th annual Nareit Leader in the Light Awards recognize REIT achievement in sustainability in 2020, and this year, Nareit is proud to include eight property sector awards, one innovation award, and one individual leadership award. The 2020 Leader in the Light Awards are based, in part, on the results of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Annual Survey, as well as judged responses to supplemental questions.

The REIT property sectors recognized this year included Data Centers; Diversified; Health Care; Industrial; Office; Residential; Retail; and, for the first time, Self-storage. The property sector award winners were:

  • Data Centers: Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR)
  • Diversified: Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO)
  • Health Care: Ventas, Inc. (NYSE: VTR) and Healthpeak Properties, Inc. (NYSE: PEAK)
  • Industrial: Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD)
  • Office: Kilroy Realty Corporation (NYSE: KRC)
  • Residential: AvalonBay Communities, Inc. (NYSE: AVB)
  • Retail: Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (OTCMKTS: UNBLF)
  • Self-storage: Extra Space Storage, Inc. (NYSE: EXR)

The Most Innovative award was presented to Kilroy Realty Corporation, and Sara Neff, Kilroy’s senior vice president, sustainability, was presented with the Leadership Personified award.

“Since 2005, Nareit has presented its Leader in the Light Awards, and during that time, environmentally sustainable and socially conscious business practices have become increasingly important factors among investors,” said Nareit President and CEO Steven A. Wechsler. “Looking at the world through an ESG lens has proved to be a demonstrably good business practice.”

The 2020 Leader in the Light Awards were determined by an interdisciplinary panel of judges that included:

  • Mona Benisi, executive director, global head of sustainability real assets, Morgan Stanley
  • Billy Grayson, executive director, ULI Center for Sustainability
  • Matthew Kozlowski, LEED AP BD&C, facilities engineering department, Cornell University
  • Jean Lupinacci, chief, ENERGY STAR Commercial and Industrial Branch at U.S. EPA
  • Cliff Majersik, sr. advisor, policy & programs, Institute for Market Transformation
  • Maria Vargas, sr. program advisor, U.S. Department of Energy

“We are proud to recognize our members that demonstrate leadership in the REIT and the publicly traded commercial real estate industry with their vision, innovation and strategy in addressing ESG issues,” said Fulya Kocak, senior vice president, ESG issues, Nareit. “We are appreciative of the judges for their time and commitment to evaluating the sustainability practices of the REITs in consideration for these awards.”

The winners of the Leader in the Light Awards will be recognized during a special virtual celebration at 2:00 p.m. EST, Jan. 15, 2021. Event registration is now open.


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