1315_Nareit Testimonials_Leitsch_2023-07-12_v2
07/22/2023 | by Diane Rusignola

Jennifer Leitsch, managing director of climate change and sustainability services at EY, participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworks: 2023 Conference in Las Vegas on June 28-29.

Leitsch said when EY’s clients are asked about sustainability issues by stakeholders, it advises them to consider how those issues are tied to the overall business strategy.

“[That makes it] much easier to navigate those questions and show how these issues are relevant to the organization,” she said.

Leitsch added that, as a best practice, companies should create a matrix that includes each of its disclosures, each stakeholder that might ask about or for that disclosure, and any corresponding frameworks, standards, ratings, or rankings organizations in order to better keep track of it all.

Turning to internally communicating ESG goals, Leitsch said companies should put out communications that are specifically targeted to their employees “in a manner and in channels that are meaningful to them.”

“[Don’t just assume] that if you provide them the sustainability report, that they’re going to feel like they have all of their questions answered,” she added.

For individuals who may just be beginning to build an ESG thought leadership platform, Leitsch recommended using LinkedIn as a tool to connect with a broader community and also reaching out to local colleges and universities to offer to be a guest speaker.