After a summer of record-setting heat across the globe, the prospect of cooler days ahead is a welcome one. Yet it’s a safe bet that the extremes we have witnessed this season will be back again next year and will become regular features of life going forward.
For REITs, taking steps to help tackle the climate crisis has been a key priority for many years, and these efforts are needed now more than ever.
One way that REITs are working to lessen their environmental footprint is through the adoption of green leases. As you can read in this issue. REITs across a range of property types were named as 2022 Green Lease Leaders by the Institute for Market Transformation and the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Alliance, with five Nareit members recognized for integrating high performance leasing and social equity practices into building operations.
“Green leases are one way that everyone can ramp up what they’re doing in a way that everyone benefits,” says David Lanzer, general counsel and secretary for Rexford Industrial Realty, Inc. (NYSE: REXR). Given the growing demand for green leases, it seems highly likely that REITs will continue to play a leading and innovative role in their future.
The REIT industry’s commitment to ESG advancement is highlighted elsewhere in this issue. For instance, our feature profile looks at Empire State Realty Trust, Inc.(NYSE: ESRT), which has co-developed an innovative playbook for existing commercial buildings around the country to achieve double-digit reductions in energy use and carbon emissions at commercially acceptable returns.
Meanwhile, REITs that are working to improve building health are featured in our article on Fitwel, a third-party certification system that zeroes in on how well a building promotes health and well-being.
And for insight into how REITs can pivot to a project outside their typical remit, be sure to read this issue’s Shaping Communities. It highlights the multi-year project undertaken by Regency Centers Corporation (Nasdaq: REG) to overhaul of a trio of century-old buildings located in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts into modern mixed-use space—while carefully preserving the historic flair of their surroundings.
I hope you enjoy this issue and the range of stories that show the sensitivity of REITs to the physical environment in which they operate.