Health Care Real Estate “Fertile Ground” for Sustainability Programs

Jeff Miller

In the latest episode of The REIT Report: NAREIT's Weekly Podcast, Jeff Miller, executive vice president and COO of health care REIT Welltower, Inc. (NYSE: HCN), discussed the evolution of the company’s sustainability program and the opportunities for better sustainability practices in the health care real estate sector.

Health care real estate is "particularly fertile ground" for implementing sustainability practices and resource conservation programs, Miller said. He cited information and data gathering as one area of opportunity for health care real estate companies. As an example, he noted that Welltower's Green Arrow program provides tenants with information regarding their consumption of resources.

"They can use that information to reduce their consumption and manage their own costs," he said. "It's very simple, and yet highly effective."

Additionally, Miller pointed out that large-scale operators such as Welltower can use their size to promote sustainability in their delivery chains.

Regarding Welltower's internal efforts, Miller discussed some of the primary takeaways from the company's sustainability summit. According to Miller, the event established a consensus that Welltower wants to be "a global leader in sustainability."

"We are committed to building a rigorous and comprehensive sustainability program across our organization," he said.

When it comes to how companies report on sustainability achievements, there's significant room for improvement, according to Miller.

"Because it's early days, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to have different standards and reporting regimes," he said. "Over time, as the sustainability practice in the health care sector matures, we absolutely need to come around to some common standards and reporting regimes."

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