11/15/2023 | by
Leader in the Light Award
(L-R) Jessica Long, Nareit; Steven A. Wechsler, Nareit; Natalie Teear, Hudson Pacific Properties; Sormeh McCullough, Digital Realty; Rick Klagstad, Vornado Realty Trust; Evan Regan-Levine, JBG SMITH; Suzanne Fallender, Prologis; Karen Cusmano, Veris Residential; Anna Malhari, Veris Residential; Mark Theine, Physicians Realty Trust; Libby Langenderfer, Physicians Realty Trust; Leann M. Mester, Physicians Realty Trust; Jordan J. Ivans, Physicians Realty Trust; Joe Russel, Public Storage; Conor Flynn, Kimco Realty Corporation.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 15, 2023) – Nareit presented the 18th annual Nareit Leader in the Light Awards at its REITworld: 2023 Annual Conference in Los Angeles. These awards are given to REITs that have demonstrated outstanding sustainability practices throughout the year. For 2023, there are awards in nine property sectors and one for individual leadership.

The 10 REITs receiving the 2023 Leader in the Light Award are:

LITL Logos
  • 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)
Michael Chang, Vice President of Energy and Sustainability at Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. and Steven A. Wechsler, President & CEO, Nareit
Michael Chang, Vice President of Energy and Sustainability at Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. and Steven A. Wechsler, President & CEO, Nareit

Michael Chang, vice president of energy and sustainability at Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ: HST), is the recipient of the 2023 Leader in the Light: Leadership Personified Award. He is receiving the award for his positive impact in driving sustainability, social responsibility, and governance efforts within Host Hotels & Resorts and for his leadership in support of the REIT industry as the 2023 chair of Nareit’s Real Estate Sustainability Council.

“The sustainable, socially responsible, and transparent steps that REITs have taken, combined with new initiatives underway, are impressive and vital to REITs and their investors,” said Nareit President & CEO Steven A. Wechsler. “We are proud of our industry’s continued commitment toward looking at business strategies through a sustainability lens and implementing practices to execute those strategies.”

The 2023 Leader in the Light Awards are based on the results of the GRESB Annual Survey and scored responses to supplemental questions by an interdisciplinary panel of judges that included:

  • Kyle D. Bolden, Sector Leader – Real Estate, Hospitality, and Construction, EY
  • Jim Landau, Head of Environmental, Social & Governance, MetLife Investment Management
  • Marla Thalheimer, Senior Director, Business Engagement, Institute for Market Transformation
  • Breana Wheeler, Director of Operations for BREEAM USA

“We are excited to highlight our members that are focusing on advancing sustainability practices in their buildings and surrounding communities and that are raising the bar for transparency and embedding good governance within their management and operations,” said Nareit Senior Vice President of Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability Jessica Long. “We also are thankful for the judges’ contribution to this program. Their dedication to evaluating the impact of REITs’ approach to managing and communicating about environmental issues and REITs’ efforts to support their workforce, tenants, and the communities in which they invest, continues to help drive our industry forward.”

In addition to the Leader in the Light Awards program, Nareit offers dedicated

ESG-related councils and committees, sustainability-focused events and webinars for REIT leaders in all disciplines, research about REIT sustainability and its link to outperformance, as well as resources, such as the REIT Industry ESG Report 2023 and the REIT ESG Dashboard, which use data and other metrics to offer a holistic picture of the industry’s sustainability efforts. 

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