03/15/2021 | by

Nareit recently released its fourth annual REIT ESG Dashboard. The dashboard helps quantify the impact of the REIT industry's ESG efforts and showcases the progress over the years by tracking ESG key performance indicators. The REIT ESG Dashboard reflects publicly reported data from 2016 through 2019 as reported in 2017 through 2020, respectively, for the 100 largest U.S. equity REITs by equity market cap each year.

View the dashboard here and read highlights from this year’s report below:

1. ESG reporting is now a priority for almost all REITs, regardless of their size.

REIT ESG Reporting

Almost all REITs are now reporting their sustainability efforts publicly, with the percentage growing year-over-year. In 2020, 98 of the largest 100 REITs reported publicly on their ESG efforts, including on their company websites, annual reports, proxy statements, and/or stand-alone sustainability reports.

Smaller REITs with an equity market cap under $5 billion showed the most progress in the area, with an increase in ESG reporting from 71% to 97% from 2019 to 2020.

2. REITs are increasingly reporting on their social policies.

REIT disclosure of social policies

REITs are increasingly reporting on their policies related to supplier screening, diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI), health and safety, and workforce development programs.

3. REITs are hiring more staff dedicated to ESG.

REITs with dedicated ESG Staff

Between 2017 and 2020, 19 of the top 100 REITs added a full-time dedicated ESG staff position for the first time. Many REITs without dedicated ESG staff utilize sustainability committees or outside consultants to guide their ESG strategy.

4. REITs are increasingly integrating onsite renewable energy generation into their operations.

REITs reporting onsite renewables

Many REITs are focused on reducing their carbon emissions and generating energy savings. Over 2,100 REIT-owned buildings have a green certification, which covers approximately 627 million square feet.

Nareit continues to support the REIT industry’s ESG efforts. Learn more about Nareit’s ESG-related initiatives, events, and resources here.

Questions about the REIT ESG Dashboard? Contact Nareit’s senior vice president, ESG issues, Fulya Kocak.

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