NAREIT’s New Sustainability Council Holds First Meeting

NAREIT founded the Real Estate Sustainability Council (RESC), which consists of REIT sustainability professionals representing most sectors, to help guide and unite the REIT industry’s energy, social and governance (ESG) efforts and priorities while showcasing well-deserved recognition in sustainability leadership.

More than a dozen members of the council attended the meeting to begin the process of creating a strategic 2017 ESG “road map” based on the REIT industry’s priorities.

Greenbuild 2016

NAREIT Corporate Members were also well represented as speakers at Greenbuild 2016, the largest worldwide green building conference. Approximately 20,000 attendees were at the event in Los Angeles from Oct. 5-7.

Jeannie Renne-Malone, vice president of sustainability at Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD), and Sara Neff, senior vice president of sustainability at Kilroy Realty Corp. (NYSE: KRC), spoke on global trends in sustainable real estate and infrastructure. Joyce Mihalik, vice president of design services at Forest City Realty Trust (NYSE: FCE.A) discussed developing sustainable urban areas and infrastructure.

Billy J. Grayson, director of corporate sustainability at Liberty Property Trust (NYSE: LPT), was a panelist for a roundtable that looked at how to make business cases for sustainable projects. Grayson and Mihalik also spoke at the conference about their initiatives and leading practices in green leasing.

Other highlights from Greenbuild 2016:

•GRESB released the 2016 update to the GRESB Green Bond Guidelines for the Real Estate Sector. Per GRESB’s press release, green bond issuance in 2016 currently stands at more than $50 billion, with a target of $80 billion by the year’s end. Over the past several years, green property bonds have gained greater traction. Year-to-date green property bond issuance is slightly above $10 billion, accounting for 21 percent of the overall green bond market.

•USGBC announced the creation of Arc, an online platform that would allow for the performance of any building with or without LEED certification to be measured, benchmarked and improved.

•Net Zero Energy buildings was a hot topic, with an education track dedicated to discussions around net zero energy, water and waste. A Net Zero Energy Building is “an energy-efficient building where, on a source energy basis, the actual annual delivered energy is less than or equal to the on-site renewable exported energy.” Special funding options such as PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) were discussed as alternatives for financing challenging renewable energy installations to achieve net-zero energy projects.

•Health and wellness was another trending topic at the event. The WELL Building Standard, administered by GBCI, is a certification program for the performance of buildings with regard to health and wellbeing.

•LEED for Cities was introduced as a new initiative to implement green building strategies at city scale. USGBC promised to release more information on the program by the end of 2016.

Greenbuild 2017 is scheduled for Nov. 8-10, 2017, in Boston.

(Contact: Fulya Kocak at fkocak@nareit.com)

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