Nareit recently spoke with Kelly Meissner, Director of Sustainability at Ventas (NYSE: VTR), about how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted ESG issues in real estate.
Meissner sees this crisis having a “people impact”— figuring out how to work and keep employees and tenants safe, and a “building impact”— learning how to operate buildings in a safe way with science-based protocols. Then of course, there is the economic impact on tenants and their businesses.
Health care REIT Ventas formed a COVID-19 relief team, of which Meissner is a part of, to help its tenants navigate federal relief programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program, the Main Street Lending Program, and the HHS distributions.
Meissner is one of six program directors for the inaugural REITworks: 2020 Virtual Conference, to be held Sept. 21-22. As she looks ahead to the conference, Meissner is looking forward to learning from peers’ experiences and successes particularly related to COVID-19. Another area of focus for Meissner is working towards addressing diversity and inclusion issues in the real estate industry.
Meissner said that diversity and inclusion “can’t be on the backburner now.” D & I and COVID-19 intersect because COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted people of color, Meissner noted. REITworks’ program will feature sessions on these topics.
Agenda highlights include:
- Case Studies from REITs that have Created and Implemented Effective D&I and Other Social Policies
- How Does ESG Evolve After the COVID-19 Pandemic?
- Attracting, Developing, and Promoting Racial Diversity in the REIT Industry
- Connecting the Dots: How to Integrate HR, D&I and Sustainability Teams
- And much more
REITworks will bring together real estate professionals working in finance, ESG, human resources, investor relations, the C-suite, and other enterprise functions to learn from peers about ESG best practices and challenges. Register by Aug. 29 to receive early bird savings.
REITworks will provide the opportunity for attendees to learn from peers and industry experts about the latest developments in environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and good governance impacting the real estate sector. Attendees will have the opportunity to earn up to 27 CPE credits and learn best practices for implementing a successful ESG program. Learn more.