10/13/2023 | by

This case study was published in the 2023 REIT Industry ESG Report, which details the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance and features 20 case studies showcasing REIT leadership and ESG innovation from a variety of sectors. The report serves as a practical tool for shareholders and stakeholders to assess the scale and impact of the REIT industry's ESG commitments and initiatives. Applicable footnotes and/or citations for this case study are available in the full report.

Trades training program job fair, part of NEI effort to increase equitable access to careers in construction and related industries. Photo courtesy of Brandywine Realty Trust.

Brandywine’s Neighborhood Engagement Initiative (NEI) has been a vital part of its strategy to bolster community engagement and social stewardship. Through strategic investments, powerful partnerships, and ongoing stakeholder engagement, the REIT creates dynamic, people-centric spaces that not only inspire creativity and productivity, but also connection, health, and wellbeing as part of its sustainability initiatives.

Brandywine Realty Trust has a long track record of investing in the communities it operates to create lasting impact. The REIT has especially prioritized its social programs as part of its ESG strategy to drive its sustainability goals. For example, Brandywine recently invested more than $16 million in the local community as part of its Schuylkill Yards development project in West Philadelphia. Through this project, Brandywine had the opportunity to work closely and collaborate with the local community by instituting several initiatives to positively impact the neighborhood and engage in equitable value creation. Some of these programs include:

The Grow Philadelphia Capital Fund: Partnering with The Enterprise Center and local public officials to provide low-cost capital to minority-owned construction businesses throughout the city and assist local business growth to drive community development.

The Community Fund: Supplying a grant of $9.3 million to a local community fund managed by a consortium of community groups over three years. These grants have supported educational opportunities, after school programs, housing loss prevention, repairs to low-income housing, and allowed the REIT to participate in developing affordable housing.

Community Development Corporation (CDC) Co-Development: Partnering with a CDC on each project, which contributes to strengthening the community impact by helping the CDC build capacity and earn higher revenues, among other benefits. For example, two CDCs have assisted in facilitating the distribution of more than 38,000 meals to residents in their respective communities.

These initiatives underscore Brandywine’s commitment to create enduring impact in the local community. The NEI is a one-of-a-kind program that is not only about developing high-quality properties but creating community impact that will last decades. Brandywine hopes to set an example that other REITs may look to in order to create their own unique programs that will foster community involvement and drive socioeconomic change in the communities in which they invest and operate.

Brandywine Realty Trust is one of the largest, publicly traded, full- service, integrated real estate companies in the U.S. with a core focus in the Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Austin markets. Organized as a REIT, Brandywine owns, develops, leases, and manages an urban, town center, and transit-oriented portfolio.

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