Dana Schneider

This episode of the Nareit REIT Report’s ongoing series, “Building to Zero,” features Dana Schneider, director of energy and sustainability and ESG at Empire State Realty Trust, Inc.(NYSE: ESRT) and continues the discussion related to the real estate industry’s journey to reduce emissions from the built environment.

In this episode, Schneider shares how ESRT began the journey on decarbonization more than 15 years ago by focusing on making the business case for deep energy retrofits.

“By creating a process and publishing our energy and financial modeling, we showed what every step of the process would look like and demonstrated that we could have a guaranteed savings of 38% with a payback of three years. Frankly, it's better than we thought it would be,” Schneider says. “But more important than just the results was the idea that we could share the process and show what did and didn't work, how to do the right steps in the right order, how to work from the outside of the building in.”

She shares how important the REIT’s decarbonization plan is for differentiating ESRT’s portfolio by creating the value proposition for making spaces healthier and more sustainable, and the value high-performing, modernized spaces bring to their bottom line and to the bottom line of their tenants—in addition to getting ahead of Local Law 97.