REITs took two of the top three places on Investor’s Business Daily’s 50 Best ESG Companies list. The IBD list looked at MSCI ESG Research’s September 2019 report and considered all companies with ESG ratings of AAA or AA.
Data center REIT Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) ranked second overall and logistics REIT Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD) ranked third on the list. Health care REIT Healthpeak Properties, Inc. (NYSE: PEAK) also made the list at 44.
The list recognizes stocks with strong fundamentals and high ratings in terms of their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) values. All companies recognized have ESG ratings of AAA or AA from MSCI ESG Research, and nearly all have an IBD Composite Rating of 80 or higher, putting them in the top 20% of stocks.
“As a leading global interconnection and data center company, Equinix is dedicated to powering, protecting, and connecting the organizations and ecosystems that will shape this new era, and doing so in a sustainable and responsible way,” said Charles Meyers, president and CEO of Equinix.
Fulya Kocak, Nareit’s vice president of ESG issues, noted that REITs have shown that ESG best practices are good for not only the environment and local communities, but that they are also good business practices.
“Lowering resource use, investing in one’s workforce, strengthening internal governance mechanisms, and being transparent about these efforts support further investment, brand loyalty, and talent and tenant attraction and retention,” Kocak added.
Edward S. Nekritz, Prologis’ chief legal officer, echoed those sentiments, noting that the REIT is “honored to be ranked as a top ESG company by Investor’s Business Daily and recognized for our commitment to ESG that helps us deliver long-term value for our stakeholders.”
“Prologis’ forward-looking approach to sustainable design, development, and culture is integral to our business strategy and has been part of our DNA since the beginning,” Nekritz said.
Calvin Schnure, Nareit’s senior vice president of research and economic analysis, added that the REIT industry is seeing a groundswell of interest from investors about sustainability.
“Commercial real estate plays an important role in energy use and emissions, as so much economic activity takes place within the built environment, and REITs are leaders in these efforts,” Schnure said.