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.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion principles have been long-standing top priorities for Camden. Since 2007, the REIT has sharpened its focus on promoting DEI in the workplace to better serve its employees and business, starting with increasing board diversity. Since then, the REIT has advanced several initiatives, ranging from executive commitment to an all-employee resource group to improved supplier diversity.
Camden prides itself on its inclusive culture, which has evolved over the years and continues to expand through various initiatives. First, its Executive DEI Committee and DEI Council were formed as the governance structure to amplify underrepresented employee voices and empower inclusive action. “CultureConnection” was created as an all-inclusive employee group that takes a ground-up approach to increasing inclusiveness. The group meets every other month and encourages interviews and interactions about personal experiences amongst employees to foster togetherness and community. CultureConnection allows employees from different regions of the company across various demographics to come together and speak about their diverse perspectives and to lead locally. The outcomes have been extensive – and include reports of stronger connections amongst employees, instances of personal growth and development, and examples of employees opening and sharing their unique stories.
Another way Camden aims to build community through its DEI efforts is through supplier diversity. It utilizes SupplierGATEWAY, an online portal that provides access to suppliers from underrepresented groups and smaller companies or organizations. This endeavor, while advancing DEI, addresses supply chain resiliency too. The REIT plans to track spending of all suppliers and use this data to identify areas of opportunity and expand its reach and support to those smaller organizations.
Camden believes that actively collecting and applying data is the best way to adopt impactful DEI practices in the workplace and accurately gauge employee sentiment. The REIT continuously uses its data to empower people on all levels by looking at diversity, equity, and inclusion issues all together instead of in isolation. A formal process was recently developed to aggregate DEI data around the company to drive better decision-making and outcomes. By effectively equipping executive leadership with regular insights on inclusion and engagement metrics, the REIT can more effectively consider where it stands on DEI topics, adjust its strategy as needed, and continue to forge ahead. These datapoints are featured in Camden’s first-ever DEI report published this spring, where it aims to bring even more transparency to its DEI story.
Camden Property Trust an S&P ® 400 company, is a real estate company engaged in the ownership, management, development, redevelopment, acquisition, and construction of multifamily apartment communities.