07/07/2022 | by
4747 Bethesda Avenue, Bethesda, MD. Photo courtesy of JBG SMITH.

This case study was published in the 2022 REIT Industry ESG Report, which details the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance and features 32 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.

Making Long-Term Commitments to Prioritize Health and Wellbeing for Employees, Tenants, and Residents

For JBG SMITH, the COVID-19 pandemic reinforced the company’s responsibility to foster a culture of continued care by prioritizing the long-term health and wellbeing of its employees, tenants, and residents.

1900 N Street, Washington, D.C.. Photo courtesy of JBG SMITH.

As the pandemic created a heightened awareness on mental and physical health, JBG SMITH supported its employees with increased wellbeing offerings to help manage the stress of home and work responsibilities. The company was flexible with its workforce, acknowledging that family care and isolation were challenges for many. While the company increased the frequency of communications to create deeper connections among the team, it was also very sensitive to the “Zoom fatigue” that so many of its employees were facing.

To address this issue, JBG SMITH shortened standard meeting times, offered free mental health care to all employees and their family members, and provided free access to the Calm app. While the company already has a generous time-off program, JBG SMITH also held a company-wide mental health day to give everyone a break.

Upon return to the office, JBG SMITH began using a three/two hybrid schedule–three days in the office, and two “work from anywhere” days, giving employees continued flexibility.

For its building tenants, JBG SMITH is committed to owning and operating green and healthy buildings as it recognizes that healthy buildings and clean air are critical to improving human health. In 2021, JBG SMITH achieved carbon neutrality across its operating portfolio—an accomplishment that impacts the planet and the health of the company’s tenants.

“Providing an engaging experience has always been of the utmost importance to JBG SMITH. It’s that experience that enables the collaboration and desire to deliver the highest levels of care to our residents and tenants. During the pandemic, and going forward, we are committed to serving all our constituents and continually enhancing the experience they have with our great organization.”
-Carey Goldberg, Chief Human Resources Officer, JBG SMITH

JBG SMITH’s Healthy Planet, Healthy People program provides its tenants with information about the health connections between buildings, people, and the planet. This information covers topics including the associated health benefits of air filtration, indoor air quality testing and monitoring, and the use of building materials with low volatile organic compounds.

Furthermore, in 2021, JBG SMITH achieved an entity-level Fitwell VRM certification, certified each of its assets, and became a Fitwel Champion, demonstrating that the company integrates leading health strategies into design and operations across its building portfolio.

Moving forward, JBG SMITH plans to continue assessing how it can best develop and operate its buildings to ensure optimal health conditions for its employees, tenants, and residents.

JBG SMITH owns, operates, invests in, and develops a dynamic portfolio of mixed-use properties in the high growth and high barrier- to-entry submarkets in and around Washington, D.C. Through an intense focus on placemaking, JBG SMITH cultivates vibrant, amenity-rich, walkable neighborhoods throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.


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